Change. A word that still makes me screw up my face a little. I’m a routine-kinda-gal and have learned from past experience that change often acts as a trigger for my depressive and disordered episodes.
Now, this fact is a major BUMMER!! Why? Because change in life is inevitable and may not necessarily be a bad thing. In fact, it can be great, propelling you into new and exciting things and enabling you to learn more about yourself. This is why my heart sinks when I feel those familiar symptoms creeping back into my life when lots of new, exciting things are happening.
In the last few months, lots of changes have happened in my life. New job. New house. New area. New routine. New body. New priorities. New life!!! I’ll be honest with you. I’ve been pretty darn depressed. Despite all the wonderful things going on, the sheer amount of change left me tearful, drained, un-motivated and anxiety ridden….
Recently, I started to feel like depression was, once again, stripping the happiness out of my life. I sat just the other day, frustrated to be feeling so low despite having a life full of amazing people, and then, in a rare moment of clarity, I realised that feeling so empty is no longer an option for me. No more.
When I felt like I was too close to the edge, I decided to do what I do best. Create a new routine. A plan. A guide to help me to dodge the triggers of change by creating a new constants. I wrote down my workout plan for the week, pencilled a “to do” list in my diary, along with times to meet up with my besties. I wrote down a shopping list and a few meal ideas and I took to doing my pregnancy yoga DVD each night. I took on certain jobs in the house. Cooking each night, keeping the kitchen in order and making Mr Rox and I lovely packed lunches.
After a few days, my mind felt calmer. With change happening constantly around me, my little world suddenly felt more stable and I felt like I could breathe again…..
I know that people who have suffered with EDs and other various problems, are often resistant to change and are more vulnerable to relapse during life fluctuations. It is therefore, I think, a great idea to create a little plan for yourself that will counteract some of the triggers that are presented to you.
Change could be one of many things- a house move, a new workplace, a change in your health or abilities, a change in your family circumstances, loss of someone special in your life, breakdown of a relationship…anything. Through it all, it pays to remember to hold on to who you are and don’t be afraid to seek advice and support from those around you.
Tips to Cope with Change
-Talk! Tell people how you feel, about your worries and concerns. A problem shared is a problem halved
- Meet up with your bestest friends! If you move far away from them, plan a future meet up anyway! Every time you see eachother, things will start off where you last left them.
- Don’t drop your hobbies. If running is your thing, put on your running shoes and get outside. I joined a new gym as soon as I moved house to keep exercise as a constant in my life. No matter where I am, whether I’m pregnant or not, I can still get some normality out of being in the fitness environment.
- Stay as active as you can- the endorphins will do you good.
- Set up some mini routines. I like to have a hot drink whilst making mine and Mr Rox’s packed lunches each night. Then it’s off to bed for a read. This simple sequence of events is a pleasant part of my day.
- Try yoga! Wherever you are in the world, doing a bit of yoga or even just some of the breathing techniques, can help you to regain focus when your brain goes loopy!
- Make a plan! Write down things to do each day of the week. Include things that will make you happy
- Rest! Go to bed around the same time each night and plan for a decent sleep. You will be able to cope with much more if you are well rested.
- Time out! Two weeks ago, I felt like everything was bad! I couldn’t stop myself from concentrating on the negative side of everything. Feeling frustrated and angry, I took myself out for a walk and a good old soy cappuccino. I just sat. Wrote things down. Thought. I spent some time putting things in perspective, thinking of the important things in my life. Magically, all the worries blended into the background and I left the coffee shop feeling positive.
Of course, everyone is different and I’m not saying that my little tips will help you deal with illness, grief or other such ordeals. However, focusing on constants- the people and things that we love – will make things a little bit easier to cope with.
Love to you all XOXO