As we head into fall, in many parts of the country, the season of change is evident. The leaves are turning hues of orange, yellow, and red. The breeze is becoming a bit brisker. The sun sets a little earlier. Kids are back in school, football season is underway, and Halloween (and Christmas!) decorations adorn store shelves. But as the seasons change, so do we. We may be empty nesters with students away at college, or changing careers, or even preparing for retirement. While some of these may be viewed as positive changes, any change can make an impact.
Many are averse to change, for a variety of reasons, including fear of the unknown and feeling out of control. So, how can we use change to make a positive impact?
Explore new things
Remember that change doesn’t need to be a bad thing! Explore new ways to bring yourself joy by taking up a new hobby. Fall is the perfect time to make a warm soup or learn to make homemade bread.
Check out some of the hobbies our own team members have shared with us — one might be a great fit for you — hiking, biking, or riding motorcycles. Some have even taken a hobby to a new career — a big change!
Fall is a great time to do some career growth. As the daylight hours get shorter, consider listening to podcasts as you take an afternoon walk to leaf-peep, checking out an audiobook on your commute, or taking up a new program in the evenings.
Growing professionally is also a change for the positive, with big impact. Learning new skills and earning certifications through programs like The Knowledge Academy can help you find more fulfillment in your current position, and help you develop for other positions. Developing your soft skills can also advance you professionally.
Use this season to give back to your community. Consider volunteering time or energy for causes that mean a great deal to you, or where your presence might be valued. This could mean a variety of things: writing a note of encouragement to someone, sending holiday cards to Veterans in hospice, being a mentor to local youth, or helping at a local food pantry. There is no shortage of need.
Not everyone responds well to change, but even when difficult, change can be used to make a positive in your own life by performing some self-care.
A new schedule or a life milestone can upset your routine and make you feel disrupted. Try meditation or yoga to relieve tension and stress. There are also breathing apps like Pranayama Lite and Calm, as well as YouTube videos that can help reduce anxiety.
Use this time to get a better night’s rest if you’re not already in a good evening routine. Limiting screen time before getting into bed, and not using phones or electronics in bed, can also help you fall asleep more easily. Make some changes to prioritize your health with good sleep habits.
Use a habit tracker to implement changes in your sleep habits, water consumption, exercise, or other wellness functions that may make a positive impact on your daily routine.
Be kind to yourself
Accepting and appreciating change takes time. It’s all about perception. Give yourself time and space to grow and adjust. Life brings constant change. Celebrate the exciting new changes you’ve made, and also celebrate the small milestones on the harder parts of change.
Change is a part of everyday life and try as we might, things change. Look for the positives and opportunities that come with change. Whether you seek change, or changes find you, focusing on the positive side can make the change easier and more long-lasting.
By: Sheila Rupp, AMSGazette Contributor and Editor