I have always thought of September as a period of change, new beginnings, a fresh start;
The start of the school/college academic year.
Returning back to work after the summer holidays.
The onset of a new season and all the beautiful colourful changes that Autumn brings.
But of course there are some new beginnings or changes which are much less welcome.
Change can be extremely stressful and difficult especially when it’s not of our making or our choice. ie: relationship breakup, redundancy, or a pandemic.
I suspect, in the foreseeable future, there are likely to be quite a few changes, and so, I’d like to share some strategies that help us cope with change.
- Keep to your regular routine as much as possible. If you walk the dog or exercise at 7am, carry on. It’s a reminder that some things are still the same and helps us feel calmer, as it’s one less thing to think about.
- If exercise is not part of your routine, then add it. Perhaps make it part of your regular routine. Even taking a walk out in nature, your local park or around the block will increase the production of mood enhancers.
- Eat healthily. When change happens, which can be stressful, we tend to reach for carbs, bread, cakes, etc., probably because they boost serotonin, which is reduced by stress. So instead of overindulging in carb, you can add probiotics into your diet, live yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut to help maintain your serotonin, and your waistline.
- A massage helps increase serotonin and dopamine and other mood-related neurotransmitters. It also helps to decrease the stress hormone, cortisol. Why not swap a 20-minute massage with a partner, family member or friend?
- Write down the positives that have evolved from this change. Maybe you have taken up exercise and feel fitter and trimmer. Perhaps you have taken up a new hobby, baking, painting, singing. Maybe you have become more assertive or more informed. Change presents an opportunity to grow and it’s important to acknowledge how things have become better as a result.
- Back off from the news and social media. So many conflicting views, ideas and news. Stay informed via trusted, credible and respected resources.
- Incorporate more laughter and fun, both of which increase your mood and reduce stress.
- Be kind to yourself. In times of change you can feel a little out of control. Remember the only thing you can control is yourself, your thoughts, your behaviours and your beliefs. The choice is yours.
If you’d like more information, grab a cuppa and hop on a no-obligation call to find out how I can help and, more importantly, if I’m the right person for you.