MINI-COURSE: FACE YOUR PROBLEMS WITHOUT FEAR! HOW CHANGE CAN AFFECT YOUR HEALTH AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT - PART TWO.
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NOTE: I started this mini-course on my blog yesterday, and this is Lesson # 2. If you haven't read the first one yet, I suggest you do that before you move on to today's lesson. You can find it here.
But now, let's move on to today's lesson:
HOW YOU CAN GET CLARITY ABOUT YOUR SITUATION
Change is part of life. Change can help you grow and express yourself on a practical and spiritual level, whatever your religious or spiritual belief is.
Life itself is a learning-process, and everything that happens is a part of that process. How much we learn will of course depend on each and every one of us and our own ability and willingness to see the importance or significance of the changes we experience. It will also depend on our own ability and willingness to incorporate the changes into our lives in the best possible way.
ARE YOU FACING A PROBLEM OR CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW?
If you're facing some challenges in your life right now, a positive attitude to a negative problem can get you a long way. Easier said than done, you say? Well, maybe ... But I believe that you really want to solve the problem or challenge that you're facing, and in order to do that, a positive attitude will be very helpful.
To achieve that, this is what I want you to do:
# 1) Make a list of the challenges you are facing.
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Why? Because it's amazing what writing them down can do for you. Your problems or challenges simply don't seem all that big anymore when you see them in front of you on paper instead of chasing them around in your head. And when you look at each problem separately, one by one, it can bring about great relief when you can later cross them off as solved.
Example: Let's say your partner or spouse of many years has left you.
This is what your list could look like:
Problem /challenge # 1: Money
How will I manage?
Problem / challenge # 2: Practical things around the house
What will I do if something happens with the house, like a burst pipe or something like that?
Problem / challenge # 3: New place to live
Where will I live? Can I afford to move to a new home? Who can help me?
Problem / challenge # 4: Friends & family
How am I going to tell them? How will I relate to them from now on?
Problem / challenge # 5: Loneliness
How will I handle it?
Of course, your list could look very different, depending on what your problems / challenges are, but this is just to give you an idea of what a list of challenges / problems can look like.
An important thing to remember is that you can always add to the list, and that you don't have to handle all the problems on your own. Whether you ask for help from family, friends or professionals, you should never feel completely isolated.
Even though we often feel like we're the only person with our particular problems / challenges, our logic tells us that this isn't true. There is no problem on earth that is not shared by at least one other person.
I'm not saying this to take away the significance of your problem or challenge, but to ensure you that there already exist methods and tools to help you solve them.
And remember: There's no shame in asking for help!
Coaches, counsellors and consultants are there for a reason, and real friends will be only too happy to help you. Would you turn your back on a friend who asked for your help? Probably not! Would you think less of him/her for having that problem? Of course not! You would be glad to offer your help if there was anything at all you could do, - right? So allow your friends to do the same for you!
2) Now take a look at that list you wrote and see if you can think of some solutions to those problems.
I'll use the list I wrote as an example, and give you some ideas of what could be some possible solutions:
Problem / challenge # 1: Money - how will I manage?
If your partner / spouse has left you and you own a house together, you could sell that house and then you'd get half of the money. This would probably also solve Problem # 3, because it will enable you to buy or rent a smaller house or apartment. You may not be rich, but you will most likely manage quite well.
If you haven't been working while you've been with your partner, you may need to start looking for a job or start some kind of business in order to earn money. Depending on where you live, you could register as an unemployed and at least get some financial help while you're searching for a job, or you could try to find out if there is some funding you could apply for if you want to start a business.
Problem / challenge # 2: Tasks around the house - what do I do?
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If this is something you've been used to having your partner / spouse handle and you worry about what you'll do if something should happen, - try to think about what could make you feel more at ease around this problem right now.
Would you feel better if you knew someone you could call? If so, try to put together a list of plummers, electricians, carpenters etc. in your neighbourhood, and put the list in a place where it's easily available. In this way you'll know exactly who to call in an emergency.
For other possible situations, a good tip is - for example - to make sure you also have all the user manuals for your electrical equipment available, like the user manuals for your freezer, your stove, your washing-machine, your TV, etc. And make sure you know where you can turn off the main water- and electricity supply if needed.
Just prepare, and you'll feel so much better already! Problem solved - at least for now!
Problem / challenge # 3: New place to live - will I be able to afford to move? Where should I live?
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Make an estimation of what kind of home you think you'll be able to afford, and whether you should buy or rent one.
Decide where you want to live. Should you stay in the area where you live now, or move somewhere else? This is a decision only you can make. It might depend on a lot of things, like if you have kids and want to stay in the same area because of their school and friends, - or maybe you want to stay in the neighbourhood that you're familiar with and maybe like very much ... Or maybe you will find it refreshing to make a clean break and start a completely new life in a different place.
When it comes to the practical sides of moving to a new home, you have several options: You could contact a realtor, a lawyer, your bank, a moving company ... There are plenty of professional people who would be more than willing to help you.
Problem / challenge # 4: Friends & family - how will I tell them? How will I relate to them from now on?
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You may find it extremely difficult to tell your closest family about a break-up, whether it's your children, your parents and siblings or other relatives, - or people who have been friends of both you and your partner / spouse ... But it's more than likely that they already know of someone who's been through this before, and maybe they've even had the same experience in their own life. So even if it's a challenging situation for everyone involved, it's not exactly uncommon these days and people will probably not be all that shocked by it. And people who really care about you will neither condemn or critisize you.
Anyways: The wise thing to do in this kind of situation would probably be to tell your family and friends as soon as possible. Some people might become "bitter" if they find out from someone else that someone they cared about (you) has been going through personal trauma without telling them about it, because they might feel that you haven't "trusted them" with it and made it possible for them to give you their personal help and support.
You can write down beforehand what you're going to say, and then either email, text them or phone them - or tell them in person - as soon as possible. You probably know what each of them would prefer. But just do it, and then you can cross it off of your list. Problem solved!
Problem / challenge # 5: Loneliness
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It's natural to feel stressed out and afraid of being left alone when a long partnership or marriage ends. Maybe you're afraid that old friends will stop inviting you or that they will no longer stay in touch now that you're on your own ... and that often happens. I know, because I've been there.
So what can you do about that?
If you're a grown-up woman it can of course be difficult to find new friends, so try to keep in touch with the ones you already have and who are more your friends than your spouse's friends. But if this turns out to be a challenge and you get a feeling they don't really want to stay in touch, then try to seek out new people that you can become friends with.
For example, taking a class that you're interested in could turn out to be a place where you'll find like-minded people and new friends. Or start something new and invite people to join you. Or join an organisation of some sort...
I'm sure you can think of more options yourself.
If you like to travel and don't want to do it alone, there are lots of trips for single people and also theme travels that you can sign up for.
Nowadays, meeting people on social media is another good option, like joining groups of people who share your interests - like The Society of Female Life Designers!
So: If you ever face a challenge or problem that fills you with fear or worry, grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing a list. Seeing your problems written down in front of you gives you something concrete to work on. And to do something - however small it might seem - will give you a feeling of accomplishment and reduce your worries, because you realize that you do have control over your own life.
3) If you find it hard to pin-point your exact challenges, use the following questions as a starting-point to get clarity:
# 1) What do I worry about?
# 2) What sides of the matter can I do something about?
# 3) What are the advantages - however small - in this situation?
# 4) What do I fear the most?
# 5) What can I do about each of these things?
4) When you've dealt with some of the most immediate challenges / problems, it might be useful to think a little bit further ahead.
Think of positive future aspects about your situation. What can you look forward to?
If you notice that negative thoughts occur, don't try to force them away. Just ask yourself what you can do about those things if they should happen. You'll probably never have to use those plans, but it might make you feel better to know that you're prepared.
5) Try to look at change in a positive way.
Whatever it is that has brought the change about, try to see it as a new and exciting challenge. Life would be boring if nothing ever changed, wouldn't it? If we didn't have snow in the winter, would we appreciate the flowers in spring in the same way? And isn't it wonderful to watch all the beautiful colors in the autumn, even if the falling leaves tell us that a colder period is on its way?
Every change has a positive side to it, and you have the ability and the right to choose which side you will focus on.
If you're facing an inevitable change in your life, there's no point in raging about it. That will only increase your own stress and feeling of misery. You need to accept it, so that you can move forward and control your own future as much as possible.
This was the end of Lesson # 2.
In the last lesson, Lesson # 3, you'll learn how you can develop the ability to put things behind you and let go.
See you tomorrow!
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