Seasons of change
In life we face many different Seasons, from a change in the weather to a different life stage. In the Church calendar alone we spend months planning, stressing and having meetings about Christmas and Easter. However after the climax of these events, when all the madness stops there is a sudden lull. I think we can relate to this in our personal journey. We spend so much time focusing on the big life events that we start to miss the little things.
I’ m currently in the process of planning what to do for my 21st Birthday. Granted, six months is very organised (there’s a first for everything) but I have anxieties . If I don’t have a plan until the month before my Birthday for that small period I will get restless at night and stay up until two or three o’clock just searching for venues or mentally picturing what activity I could do. Some would call me a Princess or a control freak and you would probably be right but the key thing is I know how I deal with life events/changes. To be quite honest I don’t take well to change so to save myself from stressing forward planning is essential for me. If I add little bits to my plan over the six month period I will avoid the light nights, drowsy days at work and a desperation for it to just come and go.
Self-reflection is vital during periods of change. Whether it’s planning a party to having a baby to moving towns. Knowing your bodies emotional and psychological responses to change can help you to developing a useful coping strategy. Kiekolt-Glaser et al (1984) found a correlation between stress and the effectiveness of the Immune system. Which is why you need to regularly make time to relax and take care of yourself during the change.
Why is it necessary to address change and reflect?
The findings of the SRRS Scale (Rahe, 1967) are an example of the ways life transitions effect mental and physical health. Knowing this means we can protect our wellbeing and build up a resistance and be able to adapt our lives with less stress.
Reflection can give us a better perspective on the situation. It is so easy to watch the news and feel so disconnected to people when so much tragedy is happening. How often do you discuss the positive events in the news?
(There is some if you look for it I promise!) The fact is when we go through a stressful period we tend to easily find negativity in the media because we feel uncertain in ourselves but if you challenge yourself to explore the positive stories when you're feeling low it can work miracles.
I regularly have to convince myself that it’s all OK and that change is necessary. Sometimes life throws a curve ball but having an optimistic outlook will always minimise some of the stress and stop you from missing out on the little things.
On the topic of stress and change I hold on to two bible quotes that really do provide comfort.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Both of these verses are powerful reminders that we were never put here to go through life alone and no matter how hard it may feel God is always present and he always has a much bigger more incredible plan for your life. It gives me strength in times of anxiousness knowing that these feeling are temporary, through God there is vision of hope.