BY ALENA GERST JULY 7, 2014
What is changing in your life right now? Is it a sudden change having to do with a happy milestone? Or was there a call in the middle of the night, an unexpected email, or a closed-door meeting at work?
It’s always important to be mindful of your physical and emotional needs. But times of transition and change (even positive change!) can be overwhelming. Sometimes we’re left not knowing which steps to take next.
Below are five tricks you can use to center yourself during those times when the world around you seems to be whizzing by at lightening speed.
1. Take some time to check in with how you’re feeling, both physically and emotionally.
Often when big or unexpected transitions are upon us, we tend to feel numb as a way to protect ourselves from stress or pain. Some of that is a way that our bodies are programmed to respond to intense changes. But when you find yourself wondering, “What’s next?” in the midst of change, often the first question to ask yourself is, “How do I feel?”
Once you can pinpoint what you are feeling, in your physical body as well as in your emotions, you can better understand what comes next. Maybe there is a big decision to be made. Maybe you realize you haven’t eaten in a while. Or you might conclude that your body feels stiff and you would benefit from some stretching.
No matter what it is, how you feel will ultimately guide you through the transition and inform your next steps.
2. Nourish your body and soul.
And by this, I don’t just mean with food. If healthy food or comfort food is where you feel you need to go during this time, that’s OK. But there are other ways to nourish yourself too.
You need sunshine. You need easy movement, whether it’s gentle yoga, swimming, or a walk. It might be soothing music, or simply more water. Fresh cut flowers, or drops of essential oil in your shower or bath is another sweet way to nourish yourself.
3. Prepare your mind with rest and relaxation.
The importance of adequate sleep cannot be overstated. But rest comes in many forms. Journaling is a form of resting “on the page.” It is also a great way to express some of the repetitive thoughts we tend to play over and over again when we’re thrown head first into an unexpected transition.
Reading spiritual books can also have a calming effect during times of duress, as can an easy guided meditation podcast or app. Bodywork can also play an important role on the path to rest amid a big change.
4. Use the support system around you!
Galvanize your friends. Enlist your family. Hug your pet. You have invested in your support system for a long time. Your people and animals love you. They want to be there for you and help you through in times of upheaval.
Now more than ever is the time to ask your community to lend a hand, whether it be in person with manual labor, over the phone, or via supportive words on Facebook. But people won’t always know you need the support until you ask.
5. Allow yourself to accept the change.
Change is the only constant. Of course we all like to know what to expect, and to be able to anticipate change for the better or worse. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. It is natural to resist change. We like to be comfortable and to know what to expect.
Each of the steps above, hopefully, will help to lead you to the biggest step that will allow you to move forward through this transition with as much ease and grace as possible of all: acceptance. Once you accept your new circumstances, you can more clearly assess how you can best continue to serve your community, your family and yourself. Good luck!