How long does it take you to identify what has changed between these two images? I took these pics in my backyard as I am always amazed by this one tree that literally will have its buds closed in the morning and by the late afternoon can be blooming flowers.
Change is an inevitable part of life. Whether we like it or not, things will change, and we will need to adapt to those changes. But as most of us can agree, transition through change can be a difficult process. We may resist it, feel overwhelmed by it, or simply not know how to cope with it. This is where self-care comes in. By taking care of ourselves, we can make the transformation process more graceful and less stressful.
Transformation is a personal, internal, and psychological process towards change that is presented to us. Sometimes we may have a heads-up that change is coming, and sometimes it comes unexpectedly. Some change is beautiful like buds blooming on a tree and others feel outright heart wrenching. Regardless, the transformation process can happen more gracefully if we have self-care strategies that allow us to be aware, adapt, and remain psychologically flexible.
I am on a tree theme so let’s explore for 1 minute. A tree that changes its leaves or flowers. When the seasons change, the tree must adapt to the new conditions in order to survive. It sheds its old leaves or flowers and grows new ones that are better suited to the new season. Similarly, when we go through a period of change or transformation, we must shed our old ways of thinking/ behaving and adopt new ones that are better suited to the new situation.
“The wind does not break a tree that bends” – Sukuma proverb (Africa)
But this process can be difficult. We may feel attached to our old ways of thinking and behaving, even if they no longer serve us. We may resist change because it feels uncomfortable or unfamiliar. We may feel overwhelmed by the amount or timing of the change.
Here are some self-care options to assist:
- Self-compassion: Self-compassion is the practice of treating ourselves with kindness and understanding. By practicing self-compassion, we can learn to be more gentle with ourselves during times of change and transformation.
- Gratitude: Gratitude is the practice of focusing on the things that we are grateful for in our lives. By practicing gratitude, we can shift our focus away from what we have lost during times of change and transformation and focus on what we still have and/or will gain.
- Emotional Self-reflection: Emotional Self-reflection is the practice of looking inward and examining our emotions. Culturally and historically this can be challenging for some because talking about emotions was not encouraged, but emotional self-reflection allows us to gain insight into our patterns and identify areas where we need to surrender/accept new ways of being.
By cultivating these self-care strategies, we can make the transformation process more graceful and less stressful. We can shed our old ways of thinking and behave in a way we can appreciate our new blooms.
Remember Self-Care is the Best Care. Why Wait. Start N.O.W