You often hear about how we are supposedly resilient and able to adapt to our changing circumstances. Psychologists talk about it, we talk about it but when we find ourselves in a not too pleasant situation, which we know (deep down in our hearts) that we can do absolutely nothing about, do we embrace the change or do we fight it tooth and nail?
I do not like change! It takes a long time for me to get rid of stuff I no longer have use for, not because I am aspiring to be on the Hoarders Show or anything, I just take comfort in knowing things are where they are…Then once in a while, I am moved to get rid of stuff and I then go into a clean-out frenzy, and end up giving away 40% of my wardrobe in one go… I usually get the urge to clean and rearrange my stuff late at night, which means I go to work the following morning bleary-eyed and grouchy from not getting enough sleep, but feeling fulfilled in knowing that I have been able to accomplish this task. So what happens when change is forced on me?
Last year I went through a life-changing experience I am still struggling with… I have to a large extent accepted my ‘new normal’ but sometimes I can’t help but think wistfully about what was. Although Farida 3.0 (when the uploading process is finished) would be better than than Farida 2.0, the refinement process can be both difficult and frustrating, especially for those of us for whom patience is a chore. I have to keep telling myself to press on and don’t look back, don’t think about what has been, just concentrate on what can and will be.
One cannot be resilient unless one is determined to be; to push up through the rocky patches of life. You cannot do that if you are still wallowing in the well of self-pity and moaning about what could have been.
That is not to say you are not allowed to have bad days; you wouldn’t be normal if you didn’t. But don’t let it become the norm, I allow myself a maximum of 4 hours when I want to wallow in self-pity. When the time draws to an end I tell myself to snap out of it and get on with life. This may not work for a lot of people, so find what works for you and do it! I find listening to fast-paced music can lift the gloom or talking to someone about something mundane, or reaching out for professional or spiritual help. There’s nothing weak about asking for help – it is actually a courageous act, knowing the answer could go either way.
So here are a few tips to help with the process:
- Accept that life as you knew it has changed, and moaning and crying over it wouldn’t change it back
- If there are things you cannot do the way you used to, get creative and find new ways of doing them.
- Think of it as a thrill-seeking adventure, as you navigate the mountains and valleys of your new path
- Find humor in your situation, joke about it so others will not walk on eggshells around you.
- Give yourself time to adapt
- Setup milestones as opposed to hard and fast deadlines. Use those milestones to evaluate your progress but don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do.
- Journal the process so you can note how far you have come – it’s very encouraging.
- Surround yourself with positive people, who will kick your butt when you are feeling down…
- Avoid people who (though well meaning) end up making you feel sorry for yourself
- If you believe in God, prayer helps…..a lot! Don’t underestimate the calm that comes over you when you hand it over to Him.
- If necessary talk to someone – a professional therapist, a priest, imam or someone you trust to give you positive advice.
- Find out what resources or tools you will need to make things easier, talk to someone who has gone through a similar situation, read articles online, join a support group
Sometimes these life-changing experiences occur to either strengthen us or teach us lessons to prepare us for the next chapter in our lives.
In my case, it was to give me something I have wanted for a long time, but couldn’t get because I was too set in my ways…
What about you?