Change, even the self-induced kind, can leave me feeling as if a drunken monkey had it’s way with me. I suspect I’m not the only one who feels this way. Today, I offer you a few tips I’ve learned while facing the crazy beast.
1. Self care:
Wear the outfit that makes you feel pretty. Carry your favorite bag. Eat the last ice cream in the freezer. Breathe deep. Do not choose this time of change and upheaval to suddenly decide you’re going to devote yourself to the Paleo Diet. Stick to what you know and what makes you feel alive. In my case, I’ll skip the chia seeds for a Magnum mini bar covered in dark chocolate. Make it two.
2. Exercise and sleep:
This might sound like self-care, but I think it deserves a category all its own. We let exercise and sleep slip off the list when we find ourselves pulled and stretched into new places. Change leaves our minds on overdrive with ALL THE THOUGHTS. Why not give your brain a break and stretch your legs a little? Go for a run, complete your yoga routine from memory, heck, just take the stairs. Every step you take towards exercise, is also a step towards sleeping better at night. Which, if you’re anything like me, you need in order to not rip your kids’ heads off when one decides to wash their dirt-caked feet in the sink where their sister is brushing her teeth.
3. A good book:
This is my answer to pretty much every solvable problem. Maybe even the answer to world peace, as long as you’re not reading anything written by the likes of Hitler. I like to choose a book that corresponds thematically to the place I currently find myself. Sometimes it’s a location, and other times I go for a feeling. This means I read Pride and Prejudice when in London, Harry Potter when on holiday (who doesn’t need a little fantasy and magic while sweltering on the beach?), and Scream-Free Parenting anytime I’m trapped in a hotel room for prolonged periods of time with my children. Right now I’m reading Eat Pray Love for the first time, and I feel as if Elizabeth Gilbert is giving me a master class on writing as well as how to embrace change.
Find your sanctuary, stay there a while, and let your spirit breathe. Most often I meet God in the forest, on the running path. I go there when I feel overwhelmed or fearful or confused, and it helps me remember God is not. I also know that when I must navigate the beginnings and endings of change, He sits on the other side of each one. He is the Alpha and Omega, the only beginning and the only ending I need. Everything else is just filler.
5. Freedom to grieve:
Do you need to cry? Scream? Throw socks at inanimate objects? Sit in a TV induced stupor for a day or two? Give yourself permission to grieve the inevitable losses that come with any type of change, even the positive kind. I find the bathroom stall at the airport is a fantastic place to have a mini-meltdown without anyone ever knowing. The noise of repeated flushing drowns out the wailing, weeping, and rending of clothes. The bathroom also has the added advantage of a full-length mirror in order to make yourself presentable again. It’s a win-win situation. And you could use one right about now.
What change are you facing during this season of life? Good, bad, neutral? What’s your top tip for coping? And if it’s red wine, I’m way ahead of you.