Post #37 – How to Implement Self-Care Through a Major Life Change (By Sheila Olson)

Disclaimer – The following post is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or sickness. Please use caution if any parts apply to your specific situation and contact a health care professional for further advice. 


Thanks for checking back in everyone! I am out and about doing some projects and prepping for the baby. So this week I am please to share another guest post written for the Dude With POTS blog. Thank you Sheila Olson! You can find her other post she has written for this page in the Guest Posts archive. Be back next week with some updates from me!


How to Implement Self-Care Through a Major Life Change


Whether it’s starting a new career, going back to school, achieving weight loss, moving abroad, or some other big life change, it’s important to realize that stress can come from exciting moments, too — but that shouldn’t prevent you from taking a leap of faith. To get over your fear so you can make your dreams a reality, come to terms with the fact that you’ll never have all the facts to know if the decision you’re making is a good one. Therefore, you need to trust that your instincts are correct. Start with something manageable, like improving your skills for a job or applying for a visa. Repeat this process, and before you know it, you’ll be closer to your goal.


Of course, change is easier said than done, which is why it’s important to implement self-care tactics to avoid burnout and health issues — both mental and physical. Read on to learn how to take care of yourself so you can take charge of your life.


Reduce Stress at Home


It can be difficult to turn off your brain in order to de-stress, but without doing so, you decrease productivity and increase the risk of short- and long-term illness. Exercise is a no-brainer when it comes to stress reduction and is likely already be a part of your regular routine. Mood-boosting endorphins help change your disposition while reducing stress, so it’s a good idea not to skip too many sweat sessions despite having a new schedule. If you don’t have enough time to travel back and forth to the gym, set up a home gym in a spare room. You can keep things simple by picking up a weight bench, some free weights, and resistance bands (a pack of six can be purchased for $9.95), or you can spend a little extra and add rubber flooring or a fan for ventilation. Just realize that the costs can add up; in Spokane, hiring a handyman contractor will cost you an average of $454 per project.


Meditation is another great way to calm frazzled nerves, but you need the proper environment to truly decompress. Consider creating a meditation space within your home to make it easy to take a few minutes on the daily to center yourself. Ideally, the space should be in a low-traffic area free from distractions, free from clutter, and outfitted with minimal “Zen-like” decor such as greenery, meditation cushions (available for under $25), bells or crystals, singing bowls, adjustable lighting, aromatherapy diffusers, a small fountain, an altar, and candles.


Get Enough Sleep


Along with lack of energy and focus, other risks from not getting enough shuteye include weight gain, perpetual hunger, inability to make decisions, impulsive behavior, poor memory, rollercoaster emotions, reduced immunity, and decreased motor skills — all of which can make it impossible to accomplish your goals. To make it easier to hit the hay, establish normal bed/wake up times, keep a clutter-free room, invest in blackout shades and quality pillows, play soothing music or get a noise machine, and avoid alcohol and heavy meals right before bed.


Don’t Let Your Diet Go to the Wayside


People have a tendency to overeat when they’re in the midst of change, and it’s usually carbs like bread and cake, as this form boosts serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical that’s drained by stress. Download a calorie-counting app to stay on track of what you’re eating and drinking. Lay off the alcohol if you start to notice it’s becoming a regular item on your list.


Build a Strong Support Network


It’s important to build a strong support network to help you through the ups and downs of your life change — and not just family and friends. Networking and support groups, colleagues, medical professionals, and acquaintances count, too. Stop with the texting and make face-to-face plans with people on a regular basis. In a digital age, it’s crucial that you put more into your true relationships instead of all your social media “friends.”


In order to make a life change a reality, give it an established deadline — but don’t stress yourself out by making it too aggressive. The goal is to make a long-term change, so there’s no reason to feel the pressure to become a new person overnight. Slow and steady wins the race.


Photo Credit: Pixabay

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