I would love to tell you that I have this whole change thing down...but I don’t. I am resistant to change and I get agitated when life doesn’t stay the way I want it to. Even anticipating the arrival of change can stress me out. I moved into my first big-girl apartment this year, and the move was stressful as hell. Over the summer, I was psyching myself out every day and couldn’t bring myself to touch any of my belongings and before I knew it, moving was left to a few days before my lease was set to start.
Life brings with it some tumultuous times. There are seasons when life is measured semester by semester or month to month. Your classes, home, and, sometimes it seems, LIFE are constantly changing. You may feel as though stability is an elusive state that you just can’t get a hold on. If we’re experiencing lots of change, we’re bound to be affected from time to time. Here are some simple ways to regain your footing.
Step 1: Take a Breath.
Yep. Just breathe. Let your stomach release and just bring some oxygen to your body. When I’m experiencing a change, I sometimes feel as though I have totally lost control over my situation. Sometimes the stress of it all overpowers my mind and our body (anxiety, is that you?). The best start to grounding yourself is to press pause. Some great ways to practice this include doing variety of exercise, yoga or meditation. I’ve even meditated in small ways at my desk job and I’m definitely going to bring it with me to my new job.
Step 2: Step Away.
We can’t always abandon our responsibilities when they start to overwhelm us but at times we need to create some distance if we can. Stepping away can also be a step to getting back in the moment. Take even a few minutes to do something that makes you happy. Call friends and family from home or watch a movie you’ve grown up with. My favorite way to step away is to spend time alone in nature or for a walk; I like to push myself by turning off my social media notifications. Our planet is something that will continue to live on through our minute humanly struggles and spending some time with it is an effective way to remind yourself that change is what makes our experiences special.
Step 3: Bring Some of the “Old” With You.
Find a way to bring some of your old surroundings with you to the new ones. Whether it be displaying photographs of your friends and family or taking time to re-read a favorite book, familiar items are an instant way to associate this new territory with positivity. This idea can apply to general activities, too. Keep a routine. One way I maintain a feeling of being centered is to listen to all of my favorite music and to leave it playing while I am unpacking during a move or commuting to and from a new job. Jamming out to music is an activity that will remain no matter where life takes me, so I try to keep music a constant.
Step 4: Give Your New Surroundings a Chance.
You’ll never learn to love where you’re at if you don’t give it a chance. Spend time in your new place making it “homey” or get out and walk around your new city. Take all of your syllabi for this semester and map out due dates in your planner. Even small interactions with your surroundings help to build up a sense of control over your situation and form a healthy attachment to this new setting.
Step 5: Accept the Current Situation.
Recognize that you are where you are, and that even if it’s scary or overwhelming now,
everything is going to be okay.
You’re gonna figure it out, and you don’t have to do it all right this second. Acknowledge that you are alive and that you have ALL the potential in the world and eventually, you’re going to thrive in these new circumstances.