Let’s face it, change is hard. If it wasn’t so hard more people would be living their dream lives. It’s important to remember that even though change is hard, it’s a necessary part of life. Change is also very natural. Think about how the seasons change multiple times per year. Trees and flowers bloom in the spring and summer, and then change when fall and winter arrive. We too experience seasons of change. Some changes are more pronounced while others are subtle. When I reflect on my journey towards becoming a licensed psychotherapist, it’s easy for me to remember the times when change was tough versus when it was easy. It took close to a decade to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. Yes, a decade when you factor in earning a bachelor’s degree, attending graduate school, gaining the required hours of practice to become licensed, and studying for and taking the licensing exam. It was a slow and steady climb to my goal, and I thought about quitting lots of times when it was hard to accept that I would need to change more than I already had. I didn’t give up, and I grateful that I didn't because I love being a therapist and can't imagine being happier doing anything else.
Wherever you are in the change process, don’t give up. Routinely remind yourself about the reasons why you wanted or needed the change when you started your journey. It’s also good to think of all the amazing things you'll gain from changing your life. The rewards will be worth the discomfort and hard-work but you won’t discover them if you don’t keep going. So, keep going. You’ve got this.
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Believe it or not there are approximately 12 million posts on Instagram that contain #selfcare. Why? Do the millions of people who used that hashtag really believe that self-care is important or is it the popular thing to tag these days? Personally, I don’t care the reason why people choose to add #selfcare to their post. I do care that the conversation about self-care is happening because we all deserve to do things that help us to feel better.
When it comes to self-care, we can sometimes get caught-up in wanting to perform the “right” kind of self-care. When we’re too busy thinking about what self-care should look like, we can miss out on recognizing our current self-care habits or worse unintentionally prevent ourselves from doing any type of self-care at all. It’s important to know that what constitutes as self-care varies from person to person. One person may enjoy receiving massages while another person hates massages. Just because massage can fall into the category of self-care doesn’t mean that someone who hates massages or someone who has PTSD flashbacks during certain forms of touch should force themselves to get a massage. It’s wise to think of self-care as activities that bring YOU joy and makes YOU feel better overall. Cooking, weight lifting, reading a book, time with a friend or engaging in a religious practice can all be a form of self-care just as much as a visit to the spa.
Now here’s your call to action…What’s one thing you can do for yourself today that is self-care? Choose it, do it, and see how much better you feel. Happy self-caring!
Photo By Josh Wilburne
Have you ever changed your mind and wanted something different? Of course, you have. At some point in your life, you decided to do something differently, even if it was a simple as ordering tacos versus a burger. Yes, tacos versus a burger isn’t a super stressful decision (but it can feel like it at the time if you’re hangry) in comparisons to deciding whether to make a major life change such as leaving or starting a new job or choosing to move to a new state. The decision to make a major life change requires some time and reflection before acting. Taking time to weight the pros and cons is wise and helps us to prepare as best as we can for the changes we’ll experience. If you have been contemplating whether to do something different in your life, ask yourself these questions:
Why do I want to do ________?
How will doing ________ make me feel happier or more satisfied with my life?
Who will support me when I decide to do ___________?
Do I really want ______ or am I doing it to make someone else happy?
What am I seriously willing to do to make _______ a reality?
On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10(highest) how committed am to ___________?
These are all good questions to ask yourself so that you can figure out what your motivation is for wanting to do something different. When we take the time to understand our motivation(s) for making changes, we can become clearer and more at peace about our choice to do something different. Remember, it’s okay to change your mind after taking some time to decide what you want to do. The choice is yours.
Photo by Diana Simumpan/Unsplash
Happy New Year! I hope your 2019 is often to wonderful start. If you’re like most people you’re probably saying to yourself, “it’s a new year which means it’s time for a new me”. Yes, it is a new year, but something to remember is that we can take steps to change our lives any day of the year. If you happened to have created a new year resolution and started it on the first but have fallen off, don’t worry tomorrow is a new day and you can pick up where you left off. As you’re making changes, try not to be too hard on yourself and remember that change is not linear and is a process. Plan for setbacks because they will happen. Also remember that if you experience a setback, there will be an opportunity for a comeback and to start again.
Photo By Arek Adeoye/unsplash
Christina is a Psychotherapist in private practice. She supports residents in both Kansas and California.