Balancing through Life Transitions
Although most of us would like to think that we have total control over our lives, it is simply not the case. There are so many unknowns and events that affect us day to day, it is best for mind and body to try and relinquish control. However, this is so hard! We inherently want things to go our way, which can create stress and havoc.
As you know there have been several big life transitions happening to me over the past few months. Most recently a decision to move to a bigger space. Now, moving is stressful for anyone, but moving in New York City is something that is straight from hell. It is equivalent to doing the most intense scavenger hunt of your life, mortgaging a house, and then trying to squeeze many cream puffs through a keyhole (Pardon my Sex and the City reference :) It is anxiety provoking to say the least. On top of all the other inevitable upcoming changes, this nearly broke me. Thankfully we found a beautiful place, managed to get approved after handing over our complete life stories, and scheduled movers to help us shift our things from one place to another.
So this whole experience made me think about what coping mechanisms work, when faced with life transitions. How does one release control entirely rather than trying to grasp onto straws as things run their course. My first reaction is always to try and control my weight. This need for control had already kicked in a bit with my changing body and growing belly, With the added stress of the move, I started putting more pressure on myself to increase exercise. Internally I knew that I was starting on a downward spiral back to a place where I never want to be again. This can look different for every person. Some start binge eating, others pick up an old habit like smoking or drinking to ease stress. Whatever it looks like, it leads to bringing negativity into your life for the sake of having control. No one wants to move backwards, so here are the steps that I took to stop the progression of bad habits, and reverse the cycle back to positivity.
1) Recognize what you are doing! This is key. You have to know that you are falling back into old habits, and admit this to yourself.
2) Tell someone who is supportive that you are following this trend. In my case I sheepishly admitted this to my health coach mastermind group. Although my issues weren't directly related to my work, if I let them continue they would eventually start to affect other aspects of my life. It was vitally important that I told someone (or in this case a group) what was happening to me mentally.
3) Ask for their help in recognizing a solution. Once you come up with action steps to reverse bad habits, have them hold you accountable for those steps.
4) Check in with yourself daily, remember to be kind if you slip up, and proceed. For me this means cutting out one work out a week, and replacing one run a week with something lighter. It also means taking time to think about what I really need, and what I THINK I need. Deciphering between the two, and not bullying myself into pushing harder.
5) Check in with your accountability partner to report your progress, and discuss any struggles.
Surrounding yourself with supportive people will help you in many areas of your life, but use them as a tool to become a better person. Good friends or family will be happy to help, knowing that you would do the same for them anytime they are struggling.
If you feel like you don't have this support in your life, especially if you are struggling with weight, exercise, or low self confidence issues I would love to support you in this way. Feel free to sign up for a free initial strategy session with me here: http://www.cloverleafhealth.com/contact/
Part of being at your best, is knowing when you could use a shoulder to lean on. We are all human, and we need each other to live fulfilling lives. No one can do everything on their own!