Change is hard and unavoidable. There are positive changes like getting married, a promotion, a new child, and graduation. And negative ones like losing a job, an illness, and the death of someone you love. Both the seemingly negative and positive transitions can derail us if not handled properly.
Transition is an opportunity to grow. Here are three actions that have gotten me through my darkest, and brightest days.
Action #1: Don’t Go It Alone
We were not made to do life all alone. Our true friends and community (groups, clubs, etc.) are the backbone of any recovery. They decrease our stress because they share the load with us. Progress odds increase tenfold when we engage our support networks.
Engaging support also means risking rejection. During life adjustments, we discover the truth about our relationships. Some we thought were supportive we realize are not. The truth hurt and brings clarity and freedom. Identify those people and groups you intuitively know have your back and reach out.During my darkest days, I called and texted friends and family frequently. I attended hundreds of support group meetings andmade some of my closest friends. Get around people who care about you, especially when you feel like nobody does.
Action #2: Make Your Perspective Healthy
There’s always hope. There’s always a reason to be grateful. My friends told me hundreds of times, “Adam, you’ll get through this”. Although hearing this frustrated me, it helped me change my attitude.
What you focus on the most, you will magnify. Be very careful where you focus your attention. The content you listen to, people you hang out with, and what you watch and read will impacts perspective.Some days, doing my daily 5 & 5, where I list what happened yesterday that was positive and what I’m excited about later, was an act of the will. Willfully reflect on what’s good in your life and the opportunities ahead, especially when it feels like there are none.
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Action #3: Be Your Own Best Friend
Make the intentional choice to treat yourself like you would treat a best friend. Be trustworthy, generous, and gracious with yourself.
What places, activities, and tasks fill you up with energy after you engage them. Plug these into your life. especially when your tempted to isolate. Minimize and delegate some of what drains you starting today. Here’s a worksheet I have client complete on clarifying your energizers and drainers.
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