It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.
James Gordon, M.D.
Many may relate to a time when the idea of change made a ball of anxiousness form in the pit of the stomach, especially if the change is out of our control. Humans tend to experience a combination of anticipation, nervousness, and excitement when a change is on the verge of happening. Whether we look forward to it or have feelings of anxiousness, change triggers powerful emotions within our bodies. It is important to be able to recognize the change, and access the best ways to deal with it depending on the situation.
Of course, humans want the ability to map out their lives which is why all changes should be embraced. However, when a change occurs it tends to stir the pot of emotions within a person depending on the circumstances. Whether you’re ready to enter the liberating golden years of your life by making the decision to start your retirement, or perhaps going through a hardship involving a serious illness, change is happening. Adjusting to that change can be a process that proves difficult to the strongest of us – here are some lifestyle changes to consider to facilitate and promote change under these circumstances.
Lifestyle Changes During Retirement
Making the decision to retire is a big step that requires preparation and planning in order to relax in comfort. The biggest lifestyle change that occurs for most seniors is transitioning from a steady work flow to finding something else to do. Finding activities that provide you with a purpose is a major key to adapting into this new routine.
There are two paths that could help you through this anticipation. The first is welcoming this change as an opportunity for new beginnings. Rediscovering your passions in life is an invigorating process that comes with many benefits. If the process seems overwhelming at first, be sure to write about it. Take note of ideas and inspirations that you think may be a goal you are interested in pursuing.
The second key is to set goals for yourself to guide the change to a specific point where you can easily reflect on your improvements from beginning to finish. The exciting thing is your goals can be as eccentric as you want them to be. Explore hobbies you have always wanted to try, take a class in your community, travel and make new friends, volunteer, find a part-time job, or become involved with a non-profit organization. Surrounding yourself with a support system and being involved in your community are great starting points to help facilitate and nurture the transition into retirement.
Dealing with Changes After Being Diagnosed with a Serious Illness
It is inevitable that changes, both expected and unexpected, will occur during a person’s lifetime. Whether these changes are in our control or out of our control may play a big role in our approach to managing it. If disease suddenly takes a hold of our life, it is important to face your feelings by figuring out what your fears and worries are, which is no easy task. Once you have a clear picture of how the change makes you feel, begin to take note of your thoughts and attitudes about it. The best way is to keep a written record of daily happenings brought on by the change and how they make you feel.
Of course, a person who was just diagnosed with cancer may struggle with trying to understand “why” this happened, as sometimes disease is out of a person’s control. When the mind is clouded with negative thoughts it can easily block problem solving skills and further weaken the body. It helps to register when you encounter a negative thought and think of one thing you are grateful for to help see the bright side. As explained by Dr. Siegel, a practitioner in modern medicine, “…emotional growth towards greater self-acceptance and fulfillment helps keep the immune system strong.”
To compliment a self-loving attitude, it’s helpful to make a change to your active lifestyle. Moving (in moderation) has proven to build circulation, mobility, endurance, and oxygen intake. Learning to relax will help you deal well with change too. To top it off, supplementing your diet with non-processed foods and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables strengthens the immune system so that it can keep the body safe from harm.
Harrison Ford once said the wise words “We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.”
A change is a start of a new beginning that could open doors to many possibilities we may never have thought we would have had the chance to experience. A change could be viewed as a chance to start over fresh and renewed! What better feeling than to wipe away a dirty slate and start from square one. Embrace it.