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Month: March 2018

Advice for Finding Windows of Opportunity During Times of Transition

This is a guest post by Daniel Sherwin of Dadsolo.com

Changes in life are inevitable. Reframing your perspective can mean finding positivity and peace during your periods of transition. Click To TweetChange can be stressful, even when it’s change you anticipate and desire. However altering your attitude and embracing thoughtful strategies can help turn changing times into windows of opportunity. Here’s how to make the most of those periods of transition.

Go exploring. Transitions in life can be upsetting. You may feel like your world is out of control and the ground is shifting under your feet. Vulnerable moments can open you to self-introspection. Psychology Today explains it’s a perfect time for exploring your inner world and what makes you “tick.” Contemplate your goals and what may hinder you from reaching them. Is there baggage getting in your way? Something in your environment? Are your feelings or habits inhibiting your progress? Take a step back and evaluate what drives your choices. By understanding your personal process, you can alter your path and reframe your ambitions.

Optimize your homelife. Your home should be a sanctuary, a retreat from the world where you can refresh and recharge from the rest of your life. During your time of transition, it’s especially important that your home supports your emotional, physical, and mental wellness. Simple changes in your home environment can promote your health, reducing your stress levels and helping you be happier and healthier. Redfin suggests decluttering as a first step toward creating a stress-free home environment. Improve your home’s atmosphere by adding natural elements, such as potted plants or art that reflects nature. Make sure you’re keeping healthy foods in the house so you can eat properly. Make time for fitness and drink plenty of water—seemingly small aspects of self-care will help you feel energized and stay healthy. And open your curtains! Natural light can boost your mood.

Here and now. During times of transition, you can become so focused on getting through your changes that you don’t enjoy the present. Don’t allow yourself to start seeing your world in black and white or through a lens of what could be or past regrets. Psycom recommends focusing on the moment and what is happening now instead of worrying over what the future holds. Practice deep breathing, mindfulness, or meditation techniques to help you engage in the present and step away from stress.

Be grateful. Our modern-day lifestyle encourages some habits that aren’t terribly healthy in certain respects. We share our accomplishments on social media, overfill our schedules, and overcommit at work and at home. With all of our busyness and the glossy pictures painted in our electronic lives, we can get caught up in thinking we don’t have what we want. We should be more, have more, and do more. One suggestion for navigating this unhealthy cycle is to start every morning by thinking about things you appreciate in your life. Write them down in a notebook so you can begin your day focused on things you are grateful for.

Compliment others. Expressing a kind thought to someone, even a stranger, can make you feel good. By connecting with someone in a personal way, you create a vulnerable moment, which is healthy and positive. Next time you’re enjoying some time with your best friend, tell her how much she means to you, and offer something specific. “You always tell me like it is, and I count on you for that honesty.” And when’s the last time you told your mom how much you appreciate her push to finish that course you wanted to drop in school, the one that ended up being a life-changer? Tell people those great things. Some experts feel kindness to others helps you feel more positive and optimistic. You’ll find the obstacles you’re navigating seem small when you’re basking in the glow of the warmth those moments offer.

Welcoming changes. Changes in life are inevitable. Reframing your perspective can mean finding positivity and peace during your periods of transition. Enjoy the opportunities life sends your way!

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What does it really mean to take care of yourself?

A lot has been written about having a better relationship with yourself and how that can positively affect your life in all areas. I really enjoyed this article on Psychology Today with its focus on self-care as an aspect of personal development. The first one really resonates with me:

1. Set intention and cultivate awareness. Set the overarching goal, over a span of years, to keep moving toward a good relationship with yourself, with the understanding that what this entails will change over the years.

2. Plan for the short, middle, and long term

3. Adopt an attitude of curiosity and acceptance

4. Prioritize basic self-care

5. Be kind to yourself

6. Seek others who fit your goals

7. Cultivate realistically optimistic behaviour

8. Have a personal crisis plan

9. Maintain meaningful activity

10. Establish good habits

11. Speak differently with yourself

12. Avoid the “Selfish Trap”

I think every women needs to have a good relationship with herself, but it becomes more urgent for single moms when you have so much responsibility resting on your shoulders alone. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you are single by choice, married, divorced or widowed – everyone needs to be their own best friend.

There are various areas of focus in the self-care industry and everyone has moulded the words to fit their niche. “Mindfulness”, “Wellness”, “Self-care”, “Self-love” and in articles about spirituality I have mostly seen the use of “Soul-care”. My exploration of this topic has led me to some interesting new ideas too.

Have you heard of Sologamy? Well, me neither until a few days ago. Basically it means “getting married to yourself”. Making the same kind of commitment to yourself, that you would to a partner in marriage. This can take the form of a full traditional wedding ceremony with printed invitations to guests, cake and presents, or you can buy a do-it-yourself kit online complete with a ‘self-wedding ring, vows and daily affirmation cards’ at www.imarriedme.com
People have different reasons for taking this step and everyone has their own unique way of expressing self-love. For some it might be a move beyond self-love.

Just a few days later an email popped into my inbox from The Fairy Godmother and I almost couldn’t believe the serendipity of the title “I’ve Embarked on a Soul Honeymoon!”

Below is a short extract from the email:

This is my Soul Honeymoon time.
It started on Monday and will be in full focus for 2 months, possibly 3 months (maybe even more – who knows?)
It’s Soft. It’s Spacious.  It’s a Gift from me to me.
Slowing down.  Re-connecting to what gives me joy.
Re-Visioning.  Creating from a place of Ease and Trust.
My full-focus on the Alignment of my Body-Mind-Soul.

Doesn’t that sound amazing?!

Taking the traditional concepts of marriage & a honeymoon and using it in a new way with a focus on self-care. Yes, it’s a completely different way of approaching the concept of self-care, but isn’t that what it is really about? Doing things in a way that only you would? Really figuring out what will be nourishment to your soul in this moment? Whether you are in the middle of a divorce, or in the aftermath right after, or already a few years down the road. Making time for yourself should be a priority.

What do you do for self-care, or soul-care or whatever name you have given to your practice of daily kindness to yourself?

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings you joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life” – Jean Shinoda Bolen Click To Tweet
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