By Beth Sullivan, CIN, CAC, SHIP Counselor and Nathan Walsh, MA, LMHCA
“The negative screams at you, but the positive whispers.”- Barbara Fredrickson
As the weather turns from summer to early fall and the kids return to schools and colleges, it seems like a good time to think about change. Change from the carefree long, summer days to the more frenzied pace of school, sports and work. Change from long warm evening hours to the shorter, cooler evening hours. We can all feel the changes coming. As the pace picks up, let’s work on the quiet, positive whispers.
Let’s try some simple ways to quiet our lives and embrace the change. Here are several changes you can make to improve your health and well-being:
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Drink plenty of Water
- Eat three healthy meals a day
- Do something you enjoy
- Talk to a loved one
- Get some fresh air
When we make taking care of our self a priority, it will be a struggle, but one well worth working on. You see, as we begin to take the time to focus on ourselves, we will begin to have more time, energy, and patience with others. Let’s try and view it from the standpoint of driving an automobile. If you are constantly driving others around all day and never putting gas into the tank, your vehicle will not go very far! If you take a small amount of time each day to check your tank and get the fuel you need, you will be able to drive as far as you need to go! We never wonder why we need to fill up our tanks because it’s simple! Without gas, you can’t drive! It is the same with your physical and emotional health. If we don’t take time to check our “gas,” we will not be prepared for the journey that lies ahead.
Embracing change IS a challenge. It is common to set goals for change as the New Year approaches but we are suggesting that we all set a goal for change this fall. Let’s start a trend! You don’t have to change everything at once. Start with small/reasonable goals you can achieve to gain confidence and build momentum. Maybe it’s taking 5 minutes daily to be reflective or taking a walk in the evenings. Whatever your goals may be, make sure they are YOUR goals! Begin working on them because it is important to YOU! That is how long term change occurs. Start small and build momentum. That’s how avalanches begin and those can be pretty powerful. YOU, too, can be that powerful!
If you are at a place where goals and personal motivation have come and gone and you are left feeling like you barely survived the avalanche, allow us to offer a common goal we can all work on. Let’s change our world by setting a goal of thinking before speaking and of not repeating gossip. Let’s only speak in kind, not condescending, voices. As the days grow darker, let’s make a goal of making our hearts lighter. Let’s turn the screams into whispers.