“Change is inevitable…growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwell
I’m great with change…when it’s on my terms and I’ve prepared myself for it. However, we aren’t always given that luxury. Just when you’re comfortable and happy with where you are in life, woosh, curveball! Or maybe one thing goes wrong and then everything else follows. Either way, we all endure it, but it’s how you react and allow it to affect you is what matters.
I’m currently going through a rough patch myself with several changes that I wasn’t ready for. After one life-altering change, some light was shed on other areas of my life that I realized weren’t healthy for me, so I suited up and speared those head on. Now, I may have been ready to address them, but what I wasn’t ready for was the outcome I got. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t let it get to me because, truth is, I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster for the past few weeks.
And what makes situations like these worse? Stress. I stress a lot. I even stress over being stressed! It’s a never-ending battle for me, often turning into pretty bad anxiety (which I’ve also had a lot of lately). While I’m still feeling it, something clicked the other day. It was like something in my body shut down but a light went off in my head. ‘What am I doing?’ I asked myself. And the answer was nothing. I was doing nothing to help myself let go and move on. I was so upset and hurt by the circumstances that I was allowing it to consume and take over every aspect of my life. So right then and there, I decided no more. Rather than dwelling and wallowing over past events, it was time to get back out there. Am I fully healed? Not even close, but I’m working towards it.
Here are some things that I’ve been doing that have been super helpful in easing my stress and anxiety:
- Smile right when you wake up: A smile spurs a chemical reaction that (even if you are sad) tricks your brain into happiness.
- Bible-Study: Upon waking up, I do the 5-minute Bible Study for Women before I do anything else. It starts with a passage, explains it, applies it to modern day, and ends with a short prayer. You can also write after it too. I use those to jot down things I’m grateful for or things that are weighing heavy on my heart that I need guidance with.
- Exercise: I’ve been following Melissa Wood’s workouts every morning and I always feel so strong and ready to take on the day after it! But if I’m really having a day where I need to get out of my head, I’ll go for a run or take to boxing to punch it out!
- Breathe: I practice breathing techniques when I’m feeling overwhelmed as it is, but I also focus on it during workouts, as it’s practiced in yoga.
- Spend time with family and friends: My family lives over 2000 miles away, so I can’t be with them IRL, but I talk to them on the phone daily and Facetime a couple times a week. It also helps that my almost 3-year-old nephew is as adorable and playful as he is! But I do have friends here in LA, so I’ve been going out and visiting with them. And I’m glad I did because now I’ve made new friends as well!
- Volunteer: I’m super passionate about animals, so I go to the shelters to walk dogs or just love on them!
- Rest: I’m the type of person that likes to have everything planned out and be active, but in tough times, it’s good to take a step back to rest…not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. I’ve been sleeping more or taking cat naps and it’s made a world of difference.
Something else that I’m actually doing this upcoming week is I’m taking a little getaway! It’s only for two days, but I’m super excited because typically I’d just retreat to the beach or something. However, this time around, I’m driving to the mountains and will be off the grid! I’m taking some time to truly reflect on where I am in life and where I want to be. Will keep you posted on how that goes!
One thing I’d like to note is that while I do experience anxiety and stress often and have my methods to help cope and move through it, I am not a certified therapist. If you’re feeling really out of control, I urge you to seek out a professional. There is no shame in doing so, and sometimes it takes a trained expert to help.
Bottom Line…if you’re reading this and are going through a difficult time in your life, know it will pass. It sounds corny and it’s easier to say than believe, but God (or whoever/whatever you believe in) has something better planned. The sooner you accept that things need to or are changing, the better. So take a deep breath, release it all that bad energy, and get goin!
Until next time…stay golden!