Three Ways to Appreciate Change in Your Life
The last couple of years have essentially been a complete whirlwind for Chris and I. We met just one month after I ended a very long term relationship, on the same day that his best friend passed away.
We were engaged three months after that, married a year later, and sold my business shortly thereafter. After that we sold the house, and moved to the country. I started another business, got pregnant with our first baby, we backpacked Europe for a month, and then moved again.
Chris is now in the midst of making a big career change, and we are planning to relocate to Seattle in the coming months shortly before our baby arrives. And if I’m honest, thinking about it all makes my head spin.
For many people, change is a near constant presence in their lives. Sometimes it is good change, and sometimes it is bad change. The funny thing is though, even the good change can leave you feeling stressed and depleted.
Through everything we’ve experienced in the last couple of years, I’ve found that there are a few keys to adapting to change in a way that can make a huge difference in how you perceive the change and how it affects you.
How to Adapt to Change Without Losing Your Mind
Be intentional about change. What would you like this life change to look like? How should it play out? Instead of fretting about all of the “what ifs” and worst-case-scenarios, take some time to think about what you would like your new life to look like, and what you can do to make that happen.
When we move to Seattle, I will have little support in terms of friends and family, and I’ll have a brand new baby. In being intentional about creating my new life there, however, I envision myself with a full social life, a rewarding work life, and a fun and low stress family life.
In order to make that happen, I know that I’ll need to be intentional about building that life from the ground up. I can’t simply move into our new home and hope for the best.
I’ll need to be proactive- perhaps take a yoga and pilates class weekly, meet up with other mom groups to start making friends, volunteer at an equestrian barn, find some great work spaces I can go to while Chris watches the baby, and spend some time decorating our new place in a way that makes it feel like home.
Keep your mind on the positive side of change. What things make you feel excited when you think about this new life change? Which parts are you looking forward to? And what awesome new things can you create out of this new plan?
Resist the temptation to bog yourself down with worried thoughts of how life might change in a negative way. Doing so won’t protect you from later regrets, but it will set you up for disappointment from the get go. Instead, think about ways that you can make this new change incredible. That’s when you really start living.
Ease the burden with schedule relaxation. None of us are perfectly programmed bionic robots, capable of massive change at the drop of the hat without fear or negativity. At some point you will probably feel crummy thinking about what lies ahead, and that’s okay. Everyone does.
Instead of letting yourself wallow, make time in your schedule as often as needed to truly relax and unwind. That might be getting massages, or taking hot baths, or going fly fishing, or taking a day off to run around town doing your favorite things without any other obligations hanging over you. Whatever it is, make the time. You will find that your ability to cope is so much greater.
Think about your life like your bank account. If you want to keep making withdrawals, you must also make deposits or you are going to run out of money. Your sanity works the same way. You can only draw on your willpower and positivity and mental fortitude as long as you are also making regular deposits of relaxation, exercise, and healthy food to support your withdrawals.
Question: What big change are you facing in your life today, and how can you turn it into something great?