Editor’s note: This article was contributed by Kate Maleski, LCSW and EWN psychotherapist.
The weather is changing, school buses are present, you may be starting a new job or project. Changing an ingrained habit like overspending and/or overeating, you may feel a pit in your stomach and think….am I ready for this?
Summer has come to an end and it’s time to get programmed again. As with changes in the season, there will always be changes in your life. Recently I was faced with a lot of change; new city, new job, new house and faced with anxiety because of the unknowns. Change can be exciting for some but terrifying for others. You may be scared about leaving familiar ground and taking the chance on something unfamiliar. It’s important to find the joy in starting something new.
Your mind is racing and you are questioning everything in your day and you haven’t even gotten out of bed. Realize that you are starting something new and it is normal to feel worried. Look at it as an adventure and a challenge rather than adding stress in your life.
Suggestions that may help:
1. Keep in contact with something safe. You want to have something familiar that feels good when faced with anxiety. Even if it includes having your favorite coffee, or picking up takeout once a week from your favorite restaurant, or just meeting with an old friend.
2. Challenge negative thinking. Take a few minutes to develop a different relationship with your thoughts and feelings. Instead of judging yourself think about the new possibilities you are giving yourself.
3. Breath it out. A lot of times when feeling anxious you hold your breath. Don’t hold your breath, focus on your breath. Bring your thoughts and breath together moment by moment.
4. Allow for worry time. Accept the worry rather than running from it. Talk about it but don’t let it overwhelm you. When feeling anxious during a time that is not designated “worry time” jot it down and save it for later.
5. Learn to relax. What is your outlet? Yoga, exercise, reading, cooking. Using a healthy outlet will help your body relax and not focus on your anxiety.
These are the skills I have used recently with my new adventures. Remember, if you don’t push yourself to try something new you will always be left the same place.