Fun fact: The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Mental health advocacy is something that is very important to me and I believe that creating a community of safety and security when talking about this topic is even more important. I am diagnosed with panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder and for those of you who may deal with this or have a loved one who does, you know quite well that change and anxiety are two things that DO NOT GO WELL TOGETHER. It’s like putting soy sauce into your morning berry smoothie. NO ONE LIKES THAT. NO ONE. Regardless, here I am. Even though change sparks my anxiety fuel and sends me on an uncontrallable jet of doom (okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic) I am still making the change. Why you might ask am I putting myself through this if it’s so scary to me? Well, if I let my fears control my emotions, I wouldn’t really be making any changes in life. Because let’s face it, life is a lil’ scary sometimes and having panic disorder definitely doesn’t help the situation.
So, how do I manage these illnesses among a period of SO MUCH CHANGE? Well, it’s different for everyone. Finding your own way and own path is essential. But I can certainly offer you a few tid-bits of advice as I’m currently in the midst of this crazy transitional part of my life. So, here goes nothing…
Self Sanity Tip #1: Not everything is going to be perfect and that is completely okay. When you decide to switch up your life in a big way, expect big waves to come at you with full force. For me, it’s been waves of emotions and man, those waves are BIG. And when you have to jump through a billion hoops to just get a parking permit for your U-haul box, insanity is just about to kick in when all of the sudden… I remember I’m not alone! Which leads to the next tip!
Self Sanity Tip #2: Reach out to your loved ones! THEY ARE EVERYTHING DURING TIMES OF CHANGE. I’m lucky to have a fantastic support system who supports our move and gives their love unconditionally. This support system may come in different shapes and sizes. It may be family, friends, neighbors, professors, collegues… Regardless, I promise you have a support system.
Self Sanity Tip #3: Taking time to just be and relax is essential. Without self-care, this big change will be even more overwhelming than it already is. So, draw that bubble bath you’ve been thinking about and then curl up with a good book and cozy blanket. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take time to do things that help you feel relaxed and peaceful… especially with so much change going on!
Self Sanity Tip #4: The change that you’re making will become your normal soon enough. I know that saying goodbye to my friends and family here is a step to begin this new chapter of my life. My future apartment and job? Those will become normal to me soon enough. Getting through the transition period is just the hardest part (at least I think so… ask me in a few months and I might have a totally different answer.)
And for now, that’s all the advice I have up my sleeve. As for an update on the move, the Uhaul box is all packed up and on it’s way to Boston and in 14 days, we’ll be heading out!! Two weeks left in Salt Lake City and I certainly plan to take a brief pause at least once a day to remind myself that this change is creating strength and courage. And for those going through a similar (or totally different) transitional time in life, I send you my love and support because it’s certainly not the easiest but it’ll be worth it.
With loves, Nicole