The fall is finally here. Amazing how seasons bring with them so many memories…good and bad! For me, fall brings an excitement for shedding the old and starting new things. School starts in the fall, football happens, leaves fall, the holidays come, the time changes, and the weather gets funky as we say goodbye to summer. Lots of things change. Sometimes those changes are hard and emotional times. People have all kinds of strategies to deal with change. Again, some strategies are good, productive and healthy whither others…well, not so much! One thing for sure, with the hope that comes from emotional well-being, it is possible to change your strategies when you need to . Here are some quick steps to making some changes for the fall that will help you enjoy this season with your family:
- Set achievable goals. Start small but challenge yourself. If you have had trouble with follow through or commitment, plan 1 activity for the fall that requires you to plan and see it through even if it is difficult or inconvenient. Have you been putting off talking to a family member? Have you put off starting a class? Making a change in jobs? Talking to your child’s teacher? What steps would it take to get it done? Plan it and Do it!
- Communicate! Do you struggle with having sensitive conversations with friends and family? Hard to talk about what is bothering you? Hard to ask for help? Hard to make contact and feel awkward after that? Try writing down the issue. No one else has to read it. Just get it out so that you can objectively inspect the issue you struggle with. Think about what it would look like if the issue were solved. Can you identify some steps that may help? write those down too. Then begin to take those steps. Chances are someone will meet you half way! If not, reach out. Get some help. Call me!
- Understand what’s in the way. The thing that’s stopping you from doing the task, or wanting to do it, is fear. You fear failure or looking bad, you fear the discomfort or confusion of the task. So take a moment to look inward and see this fear. Feel it. Accept it as part of you, instead of running from it. Think about personalizing the fear…visualize it and name it. For instance, you could think of Godzilla. You know what Godzilla looks like. What does it take to defeat Godzilla or live with Godzilla? Visualize becoming friends with Godzilla and then learning that he wasn’t going to eat you after all.
- Now, focus on your intention: Why do you want to change? Why are you doing it? If it’s to make the life of a loved one better, then that’s your intention. That intention is true no matter what the result is. Focus on this, not what bad things might or might not happen.
- This task, as mundane or scary as it might seem, is teaching you about your mind. That’s a wonderful thing. So this task is a huge learning opportunity. What a wonderful way to spend your time!
Make the most of the Fall. Do some regeneration and find your renewed strength, take some time to see the leaves and catch a football game. If I can help you find your hope, call me.
Have you noticed how traffic has picked up? How fast people are walking, how noisy things are? Do you want to withdraw and wait til it’s over? You may be experiencing some holiday stress. That’s right. The holidays bring a lot of activity that can be truly overwhelming.
It can also be painful if we feel disengaged from the life and family we want or if we are internally angry, lost, or confused. Much like the story, A Christmas Carol, we start to have visits from ghosts of Christmas past. Sometimes, it’s a fear of the ghost of Christmas future too! Maybe the fear is the ghost of loneliness or the ghost of loss, guilt, or even remorse. It can feel as if everything on the outside is twirling away while everything on the inside is stacking up into a burden too heavy to carry. The good news is that if you are reading this, let me tell you there is hope! Reach out and get help. There is no shame is asking for help. Don’t waste another minute missing out on the experiences, and people that can make your life better than you even imagined. Let’s start with Thanksgiving. While the festivities are great times, that’s not really what Thanksgiving is all about. You can have Thanksgiving right where you are and right by yourself if that is the work you need to do to improve your circumstances. The original Thanksgiving was about celebrating the connection between the native Indians and the integrating European families who had come to a new world. There was a lot of hard work. The suffered sickness, disease, fatigue, depression, anxiety, disability, addiction, death, grief, famine and feast. They were real people just like you and me. But they also had hope because they dreamed of more. And they had gratitude for the things they had been able to accomplish through partnership.
So, don’t think you have to have a huge party. Here are some things that may help your Thanksgiving become more meaningful for you and those you love:
- Make a connection. If you are alone, make a spiritual connection. Find your higher power and try to ignite the gratitude you have for life, for faith, for hope. If you want to reach out, go to a shelter and offer to volunteer. You don’t have to give anything but your time and you can find out about your talents and skills that maybe you forgot you had. When you are ready, spend some time contemplating how your giving of yourself helps to fuel your readiness to address other issues in your life that are not satisfying right now. Think about what you have to be grateful for and find an outlet for gratitude. Having things will never surpass having a sense of well-being that gives you energy and motivation to keep pushing forward.
- Focus on repairing relationships and getting peace. Holidays can be times of conflict as loved ones gather and discover or rekindle profound differences. In reality, even if we grew up together, live in the same town, and share many commonalities, we are, each of us, uniquely different. This Thanksgiving, instead of highlighting what makes us separate or perhaps at odds with one another, try to focus on the essence of Thanksgiving.
- Seek your elders. The holidays can be a tough time for our elders as well. They often feel isolated or out of place because they can’t do some of the things they used to do. Don’t look back to find reasons to ignore them. Stay present in the day and find ways to include them. You will benefit too when you are at peace with your family relationships. Take a short walk, play a game or watch an old movie they will remember from times past. Giving yourself to help them enjoy the day will add value to your day too!
You see, hope brings you peace, it brings you meaning, it brings you joy and loving relationships even when you start with making peace with yourself. Sometimes that is hard. Let us help you. Give us a call and let’s see what we can build together.
In the meantime, enjoy your days whether holidays or not!