Let us think about the following scenarios; a sudden lay off, divorce, infidelity, or sudden loss of any kind. What goes into your head? What do you tell yourself? How do you feel and behave? What fears haunt you? How would this chaos affect you and your loved ones?
The challenge here is mainly that change is a foreign element. First, it is external, outside of your expectations and assumptions. Then, it throws you into the unsafety of chaos. Suddenly life seems unpredictable, unfair and overwhelming. Your usual behaviour does not work. You feel sad, anxious, angry and hurt. Your mind races and tries to make sense of what happened. You blame or placate or even disengage and retreat. You might focus on one small part of the problem, ignoring the chaos happening around you. Some of your actions work and some do not. Your feelings fluctuate from moment to moment and your distress and confusion increase.
Eventually you come up with a transforming idea, an action or change of attitude. You try your new findings and integrate them in your life. Gradually you start to notice progress and develop an understanding of what works and what does not, you build your skills and become more confident. You sense that you are moving toward the light. You bounce back to growth and transformation.
How could you do so?
Your own resources have helped you out. You embrace them and learn to utilize them consciously in the future to solve problems and evolve. The question here is how to hone and strengthen your resources?
First, know yourself
It all begins befriending yourself showing curiosity and self-compassion. Seek answers with nonjudgmental acceptance. Become aware of your emotions, thoughts, and behaviour. Explore your expectations from yourself and from others. Face your fears and open up to your yearnings. Remember: you are the author of your own life.
Despite all the discomfort created by change try to look through this new window with fresh eyes. Widen your horizons and think out of the box. Remember: rumination about the past and worrying about the future will take you nowhere. Be present, here and now and open your heart to this moment.
Set goals and take action
Start with setting SMART goals that are in harmony with the change. Create goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Take action one-step at a time and prioritize. Remember: be proactive.
Recharge your physical, emotional, mental wellbeing
Eat healthy, exercise, meditate, and practice self-compassion and gratitude. Set a daily reminder for self-care and healing. Take responsibility in your holistic wellbeing. Remember: you can never pour from an empty cup.
Give and receive social support
Do not hesitate to reach out and connect with others. You will be surprised with the amount of support and understanding. Remember: when in doubt seek professional support.
To conclude, change is challenging and chaotic. However, chaos is where we grow and transform. It is where we learn to master one level of the game of life and qualify to the next.
As Abraham Maslow once said “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Stay safe and well!
The current pandemic crisis has undoubtedly caused us heightened anxiety, fear, sorrow and worry. Such emotions are undeniably normal given the abrupt change and unpredictable repercussions on various levels. Little did we know that our lives will be turned upside down within couple of weeks! None of us has ever anticipated this global crisis. Nonetheless, we as a human species are adapting creatively. This in itself is an encouraging fact that highlights our resilience and unbreakable resourcefulness.
In this blog, I am inviting you to observe such courageous endeavours in yourself. What have you done to tolerate this distress or even turn it into positive outcome? Have you managed to create your “work-from-home” space despite all hurdles? Are you spending quality time with the significant people in your social circle? How about cleaning and taking care of over due household errands? Do you enjoy short walks with family and go back to take care of submitting your children’s homework online? Are you feeling the immense love and care towards the elderly members in your family, neighbours and community? Are you consciously taking care of yourself and others while contemplating on this precious however short life that we as humans have on this earth?
If any of the above applies to you then you probably have been practicing resilience, tapping into your own resources and turning helplessness into hopeful adaptation. With this in mind, I would like to invite you to ponder on such endeavours and acknowledge your own efforts and strength. Ask yourself about your strategies to wisely bend till the storm passes by. You will be surprised of how creative you have been!
In addition to the changes you have incorporated in your life I would like to encourage you to consider the following:
In conclusion, living a life of meaning and value can make more content and resilient through hard times, and more likely to positively influence the lives of others. As quoted from Avjeet Das “Sometimes life does not give us every thing that we want. But then that is what life is all about. You can't have happiness all the time. And neither can you have sadness all the time. But you can create a symphony out of happiness and sadness!”
Stay safe and well!
Ola is a Registered Clinical Counsellor offering a holistic approach to healthy relationships, life transformation and fulfillment.