Much like the sense of renewal the New Year brings, the change of any season tends to spark something in many of us.
For anyone in school, or with kids in school (like me!), it’s a shift into new routines and responsibilities. My youngest is starting kindergarden this year, and suddenly I find myself with a very different day-to-day reality. A friend who’s also become a 9-3 empty nester is “making a career out of choosing a career” as she reads a book about career guidance. For us, at this time in our lives, it’s a big upheaval.
Even if the change into the fall season isn’t so dramatic, many people feel a shift at the end of the summer–away from the days of relaxation and lazy warmth, even if the laziness is only about the fact that you haven’t had to put socks on for 3 months! It’s different. The clothing, the light, the food–all of these little signs converge, indicating change.
How does change make you feel?
Some people feel motivated. Excited. Inspired.
Some people may feel anxious. Overwhelmed.
Most of us probably feel some combination of all of those things, and other feelings.
As I tell my young kids (over and over and over again!), having the feelings–any feelings–is normal and healthy. The trick is how we deal with them.
- focus the excitement and motivation into useful action?
- let the anxiety and overwhelm show us what we need to change, and then use it to move forward?
I find it useful to first get a grasp on the feelings and why they’re there, and then let that show me the way forward.
I’ve been feeling anxious about this change into a mom with both kids in school. The pressure has been building over years of being a stay-at-home-mom, to become a productive (read: money-making) person again once they’re in school. In the past two days, I found myself spinning out, feeling like I needed to do EVERYTHING I’ve been planning for years, all in one day. I had to take a step back to tell myself that this is simply not possible, and not respectful of myself to assume that much pressure.
Today, rather than rushing home to make phone calls and send emails, I practiced yoga after dropping the kids at school. As I left, refreshed, I reflected on where I can fit that kind of self-care into my new routine, while still making time for the work of homemaking and professional efforts. The balance will come.
Change: A Gradual Process
In these reflections, I am reminded that change is usually an ongoing process, rather than a rapid, instantaneous switch. As the shift in seasons inspires these feelings of transformation, so it can guide us through it. When summer slips into fall, we experience weeks of fluctuating weather. Some days bring us right back to July, some look ahead into October and November. The daylight gradually lessens, so incrementally that we don’t even notice from day to day. The leaves change in gradations of colour over weeks. It’s all a process that takes time.
We must allow it to be this way for ourselves. Patience, acceptance, and faith that what needs to happen will happen, allow us to move forward as gracefully as the seasons. Whatever tools we can use to find our calm through this process–yoga, meditation, prayer, walks in nature, reading inspirational books or guides, even attending motivational events–we should make use of them!
If you are experiencing a period of change in your life and are looking for guidance from coaches, books, motivational speakers, start with our Consumer guide to be safe on your journey. And be gentle with yourself and this process–it takes time!
Do you feel yourself affected by the change in seasons? Let us know in the comments, or join the discussion on our Facebook discussion page!