In all the turmoil that started with 2020, one lesson that remained with me as I bid farewell to this “ Unexpected” year is that acceptance of change is the key to well being. Now don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these words! It’s a process that needs to begin and here is my effort to give it a push for all those who are reading this.
As we know it and have read it numerous times that “Change is the only constant in our lives”; my question is that do we actually “Accept the Change”?
Knowing and Accepting that change is the only constant are very different concepts. Knowing serves as the first step in the process of acceptance. But to get through this process, there are several aspects to keep in consideration.
Here, as a professional, I wish to provide very simple and brief strategies that have helped me personally and can be applied in daily life to understand and accept change.
Step1: Being Mindful
I had so many expectations about places I want to travel in 2020, goals I wanted to accomplish, things I wanted to change from 2019 and so on…but nothing mattered when this global pandemic hit us!
It re-instilled my belief in living in the present. Yes we want to learn from yesterday and work towards making our tomorrow better but let’s not forget to be aware of Today!
When I started taking one day at a time, it not only helped me accept the facts of the circumstances but also gave me insight into how I can adjust to these facts.
Being mindful is being aware of whatever is happening in the present, noticing the changes, how our bodies and minds are adjusting to those changes and also learning how we can modify that in a way that helps us adjust healthily to the ongoing circumstances.
As and when I started becoming aware that 2020 was not at all what I was expecting, I pondered over how I can make it better for myself. It started to occur to me that as much as I want to deny the circumstances, I will be away from it and probably feel happy but is it helpful to me in the long run? NO!
The moment I decided to accept whatever was going around, I started to come closer to the reality of both-external and internal changes. Of course it was not a pleasant feeling but embracing this as well that it won’t be easy but not impossible to get through is what got me through!
Few things that can help us be mindful as well as accept ourselves and the circumstances around us are:
Maintaining a journal about daily events, other’s and our own opinions about the same, support we received or want to receive and giving all this a reality check at the end of the day.
Writing affirmations that can help us go one day at a time. For Example- I am embracing the change; I am noticing the difference in myself; I am prepared to get through this..etc can help us reassure our state of acceptance.
Various products are available on MHT Store to help you with the same.
Step3: Seeking Support
A very important message that I personally grasped during this pandemic is that of valuing the resources we have. Whether it was fishing for necessities during strict lockdown and my nearest vegetable vendor helping me out, or staying away from family and friends for months altogether knowing I won’t be able to travel and be with them anytime soon; made me realize their importance in my life.
Knowing you are not alone and seeking out help when needed from people who care for us, joining a support group or seeking professional help to gain support from within, serves as an important step in this process. You can try this “My Society” exercise to understand from whom you can seek support and get through the change.
Step4: Understanding Control
We as humans are taught to plan our future, take actions for the same, take things in charge, be a leader, and so on making us very control centric beings. The moment circumstances start going out of our control, we tend to experience anxiety, anger, frustration and all kinds of unhealthy emotions as we do not know what to do!
Again, 2020 has been a great teacher to help us understand that so many things in the environment are not in our control. We did not and could not control the onset and spread of COVID-19 and many other natural disasters that took place this unfortunate year. We felt very restricted and frustrated when we could not step out of the house and imagine this was a global emotion! Definitely something to learn from?
It is important that we understand for each circumstance that arises in our life- what is in our control and what is not in our control for the same. Whether it is maintaining a relationship with others or self or dealing with pandemic- once we figure out what is NOT in our control, we learn to let go and what IS in our control we learn to Accept and act upon!
Step5: Embrace Yourself
In all the chaos that I went through along with the whole globe, I also understood the importance of Loving Oneself! No matter what changes happen in the environment, the only constant you have with yourself is YOURSELF!
Identify your strengths, your weaknesses, opportunities to grow and what comes in the way of the growth. Embrace all of it and grow at your own pace to be the most important source of strength to get through these changes.
None of us has seen the future and as I mentioned before, no matter how much we prepare ourselves for it, we are always going to face some change that will challenge us.
So..Embrace yourself and the situation, seek support when needed, and commit to yourself!
Lastly, it is safe to say that I am all geared up to accept what 2021 has to throw at me because I commit to “Accept What Comes my Way” by following the steps mentioned above. And every time that I feel I am falling off the wagon, I remind myself of these steps, I talk to a friend/professional, and I prepare myself that I am ready to Accept!
I did not celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019 thinking or knowing that 2020 would be such a challenge but I am definitely celebrating this New Year’s ACCEPTING that 2021 is going to be different and that I am prepared for the challenge!
Here’s wishing a very Healthy Happy New Year and hoping that this made it a little easier for you all to “Accept what comes your way” in 2021!!