Tides Turning: Listening To Your Body During Life Change
Life’s full of change. There are times when we want things to stay the same forever so we can cherish people and circumstances we care for that bit longer. Other times, we would love for things to change rapidly so we can escape whatever awkwardness or uncomfortable feeling we’ve been left with. We can’t have it every way so the best we can do is take it as it comes. What if though, our mind and body is resisting? We know that we need to take a next step yet there’s something stopping us in our tracks?
I’m currently transitioning from one place to another. I’m changing jobs which means changing routine, leaving an environment I’m familiar with and swapping out a load of super great people for some more. What has been my daily life for two and a half years will be no more.
I first made the decision to change jobs a few weeks ago. I looked at my long term goals, my day to day life and how my schedule was working and figured out what I’m missing. The conclusion I came to was to change my job for one that would allow me to move in a specific direction and that would give me the balance I’ve been craving. It didn’t come easy and it certainly wasn’t a decision I took lightly. Life is full of trading choices and coming up against it when decisions have to be made. We want to stay in one place but we know another will serve us better.
Our bodies tell us so much. They tell us if we’re happy, how a situation rests with us and if we’re in good health in general. They are here to protect us, keep us safe and serve as a reminder to take care of ourselves. How then do we get to understand if a feeling is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy?
During my recent decision making process, I experienced discomfort, fear, upset and some anxiety. I slept poorly and cried a little. I talked it out with those I love until I was blue in the face and still came to the same conclusion.
Like when we were cave men, our bodies go into fight or flight mode when we’re stressed. If we’re panicked, it’s the equivalent of our minds and bodies thinking we’re surrounded by lions trying to eat us. Stress is there to protect us and it’s up to us to decide what we need protecting from. Is it change? Is it hungry lions? (hope not) or is it simply a difficult decision?
Our bodies don’t lie. Some ways of recognising what our bodies are thinking before we even do is to do a little audit. How do you feel in general? What are you craving? How are you sleeping?
More importantly, how do you deal with it?
Some ways your body might resist change includes sleeplessness. Not sleeping at night due to an over active mind is normal. Sometimes, having a decision weighing on your mind will mean that it’s harder to switch off. There are loads of ways to rest a bit better. One key way is to find a way to move along the decision making process. Is that possible for you?
Feeling anxious is normal too. When I’m making change, I can get rather overwhelmed and feel anxious. The way I deal with it is to pay attention to diet, practice meditation and talk it out with those I love.
Craving junk food can be sign of many things going on. When we’re overtired, we tend to crave quick sugar fixes. This means that we’re getting temporary energy boosts and even bigger crashes. Ensuring we get a balanced healthy diet is imperative when it comes to change. Jumping into Mc Donald’s for a quick fix can be tempting but won’t necessarily do your mood any good.
Of course, the exercise point is going to come up. When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, there is lots of extra energy built up in our bodies. We need to burn this somehow and exercise is more effective than sitting and stewing or even acting out. Go for a brisk walk in the sunshine or have a swim and notice how much better you feel afterwards.
Change can be amazing but it can also take its toll on your body. Be sure to get the rest you need and to listen to what your body is telling you. If it needs to chill out then let it chill. Likewise, if it is telling you something you’re not sure about, take the time to figure it out and move it in the right direction.