I recently went for a long walk to figure out why I felt so…nothing.
Nothing was the only word I could think of using to describe how I felt about my life.
But why did I feel so flat? Things were going great. My son is having the time of his life doing a semester abroad, my daughter just committed to a college she is very excited about, my husband is traveling all the time
because his business is booming, our youngest is feeling very free now that she has her drivers’ license, my health is steady, my practice is doing well and I love all my clients…wait. I think I get it now.
I feels like just yesterday when life was simple and I had three smiling faces looking up at me with love in their eyes asking, “What are we going to do today, Mommy?” Life now is more about keeping the Master Calendar up while everyone is running out the door in different directions. The only one that gives me that look of anticipation these days is my dog because she needs to pee.
We can know that this time of transitions will come, but when it finally hits, it is a cyclone of frantic feelings that can destroy our emotional state which can end up damaging our bodies if we are not careful. It can be so overwhelming that we just shut down inside (because we can’t handle all that is going on in our brain and heart). This ends up feeling like depression and looking like – Nothing.
Fortunately, the solution is pretty much the same for whatever ails us (with a little tweaking to fit our needs).
After some trial and error, here is what I found that best helped me find my way to the next phase of life. Read on to see if they can help you too. I would love to hear how you have handled transitions in your life in the comments below or tweet them to @lisadouthitww.
Accept The Change
David Foster Wallace once said, “Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.” The best way to make a big change more difficult for yourself is to fight it. Although having a hard time letting go is a natural reaction, living in the past will only cause more pain and prolong the adjustment period. Instead of dwelling on what you’re leaving behind, focus on some positive aspects of the change and how it is going to help in creating a better future. Accepting the reality that your life will no longer be the same isn’t always a bad thing, just a different thing.
Find Time For Reflection
Give yourself some time and space to get away from the expectations, the conversations, the noise, the media, and the pressure. Whether it’s journaling, meditating, taking long walks, or talking with someone you trust, periods of change are when it’s most important to stop and assess how you’re feeling about everything. Shutting down the negative chatter in our brains gives us the opportunity to find the positive aspects of our lives and live more in gratitude for what we still have verses what we have lost. Remember that loneliness is designed to help you discover who you are inside – so that you’ll stop looking outside yourself for your worth.
Take Care of Your Health
When change occurs, stress often comes along for the ride. Stress overload can have a damaging effect on your health and make us feel even worse. Don’t forget to eat healthy meals, get enough sleep and exercise regularly (even if you don’t feel like it), and make a daily effort to keep these habits up. A positive lifestyle can provide the will power and strength you may need to move though this transition and still have energy to enjoy life on the other side of.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Any kind of life transitions can stretch us beyond what we thought were our margins. Take this time to find out what you are capable of, what you like and don’t like, and how to adapt. Take note of how well you adjust outside of your comfort zone and notice of the strength and courage you never thought you had.
Take It One Day At A Time
When you start feeling overwhelmed about all the changes that are taking place, remember to take things one step at a time. Finding your way back to your authentic self is a journey, not a destination. Listen to and trust your inner voice. There really is no right or wrong way of doing things, just your way. So don’t worry so much and remember that You Can Do This!