The end of summer was always met with dread for me. Going back to school, wearing uniforms, and being cooped up doing hours of homework was an unwelcome change after a few months of leisurely participating in outdoor sports, getting tan, and laughing over countless inside jokes with my summer “pool rat” friends.
I’m not the one going back to school this year, but some people in my life are and this week still marks a big transition for me. My baby sister just headed off to college for the first time in the Midwest, the other sister is bravely tackling her second year as a teacher all the way out in California, and my brother is entering the second half of his college years in New England. Even as the oldest of four siblings, the impact of transitioning into adulthood never quite hit me until all the younger ones started embarking on their own next chapters. To top it off, my boyfriend left for New York this week to start his PhD, leaving behind uncertainty about when I’ll make the move myself.
With all this change in the air, it's no wonder that September is designated as Self-Care Month. If you are going through a tough transition of your own, here’s what you can do to feel better:
Write about it. Get to the heart of what you’re really feeling by doing some journaling. Transition can leave you feeling unstable and it helps to get all the swirling thoughts out of your head and down on paper (or device). You can also jot down questions you may be asking yourself - even if you don’t have the answers yet, getting the conversation started will show you what you need to work through.
Talk it out. The people you trust who aren’t involved in whatever transition you’re experiencing can bring perspective you may not have seen from where you stand. This is a time when leaning on friends, family, significant others (and maybe even professional help) is key. Being vulnerable is scary, but the more you open up, the less unsettled and lost you will feel.
Stick to your routines. Keep busy and proceed with life as best you can under the circumstances. You may not be feeling up for (or have time for) all the social activities you normally enjoy, and that’s okay - but don’t isolate yourself too much. Find the right balance between turning down plans that are too overwhelming or distracting, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone a bit to recover.
Find a hobby. It can be anything that you think is FUN and that you’ll actually want to make time for. Even better, try something brand new that you’ll be inspired to get better at and that you can visibly measure your progress. A silver lining to any challenge is to know you’ve channeled that energy into accomplishing something.
Surround yourself with positive energy. It might sound crazy but the Law of Attraction is powerful. The frequency (not intensity) of your energy vibrations is tied to your emotional state, and being in a positive emotional state will make you more receptive to other good energy. By getting into a positive emotional state and taking action, you can directly impact the outcomes in your life without needing to exert that much energy. (Highly recommend checking out Jess Lively's podcast for more inspirational background on all this.) For me, a few things that help set a positive mood daily are using my weighted blanket, cuddling with my favorite stuffed animals, and using essential oils.
Whatever you enjoy most, practice ways to calm yourself and weather the storm to hopefully reach a place where you can welcome in this period of change and all that’s ahead.
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