By Ashley Reichel, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
As the fall season is upon us, most of us have learned to embrace the changes that take place. If you are a true fall person like myself, you look forward to milder temps, cozy sweaters, comforting foods, and pops of bright colors that begin to emerge in the trees. As much as one can love all the classic signs of the season, they may also find themselves a bit out of balance and must manage feelings of uncertainty and discomfort. Like the transitions that take place during the changing of the season, we too experience similar feelings as we navigate different seasons in our lives.
I speak from experience when I say it can be a challenge to find that balance in the midst of a life changes, transitions, and sometimes chaos. I myself am experiencing a new “season” in my life as my family transitions from one child to two. Our newest addition to the family has brought us so much love, laughter, and sense of purpose, but on the same hand has challenged us in ways we never knew possible. Our lives, though full, have been turned upside down a bit. When things are at their toughest it can be hard to manage emotions, relationships (with our self and others), our health, and yes, even our sense of sanity.
So how then do we regain our balance in a particularly challenging season in our lives?
Slowing Down - When life gets crazy it can be easy to find ourselves feeling frantic and like we must do more and faster to feel accomplished. In reality, we are just adding more stress to our already challenging lives. Take a breath, clear your head, and tackle whatever life is throwing at you one day at a time. Sometimes it’s ok to have done just enough to get through your day; I call it survival mode, and if everyone is alive and standing at the end of the day it’s a win. There will be other days to do more as there will be less challenging times ahead.
Patience and Kindness - Our moods and temperaments are often dictated by our current situations in life. When things aren’t going our way, it can be easy to take it out on ourselves and on others. Being kind and patient to ourselves first often makes it easier to treat those around us in the same manner. No one is perfect, so in times of turmoil give yourself a break. Acknowledge even the small things you are doing well, and focus on the things that make us and others feel good.
Ditch the all or nothing mentality - Much like celebrating the little things that are going well, know that even if part or most of our days aren’t ideal, there is still good in our lives and there has to be something worth celebrating. Know that even a day that starts off badly can be salvaged if we simply change our way of thinking. Sometimes even forcing ourselves to think positively can render positive outcomes!
Take care of ourselves - Too often when we are overwhelmed, we let our health slip. We eat too much, or too little; we take care of ourselves last, and let our physical and mental health slip. Take the time to eat more of the good stuff, and notice how your body reacts. When we eat for energy and to fuel our bodies, we feel better and in turn it becomes easier to keep doing what makes us feel good. Listen to your body, giving it rest as well as movement when it needs it. Take help when it is offered, and don’t be afraid to seek it when it hasn’t been offered. Find time to meditate, or even just give yourself a time out to sort through your thoughts and feelings that may be challenging your mental health. Acknowledge what you are feeling, and then let go of anything not currently serving you.
Much like the seasons that are ever changing, remember any challenge you are facing in the current season of your life will also change and evolve. Nothing is forever…things will get easier, and new challenges will arise. But, if in the hardest moments of our lives we can remember to embrace the change, we will emerge stronger and with the knowledge that there is purpose in all the seasons of our lives!