Autumn is always a time of change. Sometimes it feels like more of a new beginning than New Years Eve. Perhaps this is simply a hangover from childhood when September meant the start of a new year and although six weeks seems like nothing now that I’m grown up, at the time it seemed like months had passed. Autumn feels like a bittersweet mixture of excitement and nerves. Excitement for the coming of Halloween and Christmas, excitement for cosy jumpers and good TV and longer nights. As the leaves change it feels as though we too can change, can set ourselves new goals, start a new hobby, put in the work before the depths of winter make it more difficult to be ambitious and pro-active. However, Autumn can also be tricky. If you have SAD the anxiety about dark nights can start as early as August when the last days of summer seem to mean only one thing – that soon you will be tired and a bit melancholy. It can also mean the start of a new school term, going to university, heading into the final year of your degree or starting a new job, perhaps trying to find a job.
The changing of the seasons has got me thinking about change in general. Whether moving house, starting a new job, awaiting the arrival of a baby or changing school. Change is good, it’s normal, it’s part of life. But it can also be daunting. If you’re like me, you probably find routine comforting, perhaps you like seeing the same faces every day or you like knowing what’s going to happen each day. However, change can be good. For the past two years I have had an incredibly changeable schedule. Studying part time and working two jobs – one of which was in retail which means your hours change week by week – meant that each day I was in a different place. Some days I was going literally from one job to the next. Change has become something exciting, it keeps you on your feet, it keeps you moving, it forces you to think creatively, to plan your time and to be open. But, it can still feel scary. So if you are facing a change in your life right now – no matter how big or small – here are my top tips on how to keep calm even when you don’t really know what’s coming next!
1) Have faith in yourself:
Whether it’s a job search, starting uni or deciding to take up a new hobby, remember that you have done this before. You’ve probably forgotten how nervous you were starting your last job, or how scary it was going to that social event on your own, but you will have done something that scared you before. And if you’re reading this, then I’m guessing nothing too terrible happened! Have faith in your own ability to adapt. And if you’re worried about making a mistake or being judged, always remember that no one else will notice this, they’re probably too worried about themselves.
2) Always have something to look forward to:
Even though your new challenge will probably go well and before long you won’t be able to imagine life back at your old job, living with your parents again or without your new hobby to fill your weekends, it’s still good to have a comfort blanket. Allow yourself half an hour each day where you do something solely for yourself. Whether you’re reading a book, watching your favourite TV programme, practicing yoga or walking the dog, do something familiar and comforting. Knowing that each day there’ll be something familiar and comfortable will make the change less daunting.
3) Be excited:
This might sound difficult moments before going into your first lecture in a huge lecture haul, or when it’s about to be your turn to introduce yourself and come up with an interesting fact about yourself (mine is always, ALWAYS about my dog which isn’t really that interesting so don’t worry, no one ever remembers these facts anyway). But, try to remember that you chose to make the change. You wanted to try something new, you wanted to change where you were. And even if you didn’t completely choose to be where you are now, try to imagine all of the wonderful possibilities of what is to come. Perhaps you’ll meet a new friend, perhaps you’ll have wonderful opportunities come your way or maybe you’ll progress far more quickly for the change. Think of the positive possibilities and try to be excited, just like at the end of the summer holidays when a whole new year lay in front of you.
4) Don’t forget to dream:
Perhaps the change isn’t the most exciting thing ever. Perhaps you didn’t want to change jobs or the university you are going to wasn’t your first choice. Whatever it is that is making the change less than wonderful, try to have something to balance your nerves. Your new job could allow you to afford a holiday abroad, going to a new city might allow you to meet loads of new people, studying a different course to the one you expected could give you a new perspective on the subject you already enjoy. Try to dream. Although it’s important to live in the moment, sometimes we all need the odd day dream to get us through those nervous first steps into a new venture.
Let me know your tips for getting through any anxious times, particularly when things are changing. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you would like to see more lifestyle posts, please do let me know in the comments.
Have a fabulous day!