It’s Monday morning. I typically would be getting up to feed the dogs, and get ready to go to the office. Except I have no office. I feel a sense of emptiness and anxiety in the pit of my stomach. It’s very quiet, I can hear crickets…and I live in New York City, where crickets don't typically hang out.
Transition and change, in any area of our lives, inevitably brings up uncertainty, doubt and discomfort. These feelings are a normal part of the adaptation process. This shift, from familiar to unfamiliar, is what I call “The Cricket Phase”.
I would like to share 5 tips that have helped me immensely through the recent changes in my life:
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THE CHANGE
The more I try to pretend this change does not affect me, the more the discomfort grips me. Whether by choice or imposed by others, this transition is happening. It helps to say it out loud, perhaps even writing and posting it in a visible place: “I am going through a major change in my life, and I am OK.” That feeling in the pit of my stomach may affect me, but it does not define me.
2. ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
Having a daily routine gives us a sense of purpose, and at a deeper level, makes us feel safe. It can be disorienting when our familiar environment and schedule changes. Setting a basic routine for myself during this time of transition has provided me with stability and structure. Establish a consistent set of activities, and schedule regular times to do these, including work, home, physical activity, socializing and rest.
3. REMAIN ACTIVE
At first, I was getting out of bed and starting to work right away, not leaving the house until I felt I had “accomplished” something. No wonder I was getting depressed. I now start my day with an activity I enjoy, such as yoga or a short run, followed by walking my dogs and grabbing coffee at the local coffee shop. When I am active and get some fresh air in the morning (or anytime during the day), I feel more energized and ready to do my tasks.
4. BREAK DOWN TASKS
When we are going through change, even the smallest of tasks can feel overwhelming. It helps to break down our goals and action items into manageable portions. If I try to accomplish too much at once, I get frustrated and end up not doing much at all. For example, if I have to follow up on leads for potential clients, I don’t need to call or email them all in one day. I can schedule two per day. The same applies for any task, from cleaning the house to finding a job.
5. REACH OUT TO OTHERS
Each person around us has gone through a major change at some point in their life. It helps to get support. That day I woke up hearing crickets, I called up a good friend who is a freelance writer, and we had a quick bite to eat. I wanted to cling to her like saran wrap. She assured me this time will pass. I spoke to another dear friend, a designer who entirely related to what I was feeling. My parents kindly said to be patient, and have faith. Rely on those around you, reach out. Remember…it takes a village!
I hope some of these tips are helpful. I am here to tell you "The Cricket Phase" is temporary, and you will get through this stronger than ever! Feel free to comment below, and don’t forget to sign up for my email list to get new updates!!