This one manageable tip will help you easily tackle life changesMar 28, 2021
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This post will benefit you if you’re a working mom struggling to cope with the many life changes thrown your way.
UPDATED MARCH 2021
When I originally wrote this post about 18 months ago my youngest son, Connor, was one month. I remember being really nervous about adding a second to our family because so many people warned me that it was a really difficult transition. I wasn’t sure how my two-year-old (at the time) would handle a baby brother. I also knew my work schedule would be changing quite a bit. I was excited, but at the same time, feared this new life change. (If you recently had a baby, check out these tips).
I’ll be the first to say that life changes are challenging. And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t mind change every once in a while. Even if those changes are positive, there’s still a period of transition that can be difficult to navigate. The stress and worries around the change, and how it impacts our future, can pile up.
Now, let’s fast forward. It’s March of 2021 and life has most certainly changed. My kids are in different stages of development, my company has pivoted to help more moms make career changes, and let’s not forget we’re in the middle of a pandemic. There is one tip, however, that has remained a constant for me. When I think about implementing it life instantly feels more doable. My anxiety starts to lessen and I realize I have more control than I think.
The trick to coping with life changes
So, knowing that life changes are inevitable, what can we do to help get through them?
Shortly after Connor arrived my friend texted me to see how I was doing and asked when she could stop by. Then, she gave me the best (and simplest) advice I had heard in a long time. She said, “You have to take it one hour at a time”.
Most people suggest taking life one day at a time. But sometimes even focusing on one day feels like too much. Since that conversation, one hour at a time has become my motto. And, I have to tell you, it’s really made the life changes I’ve experienced so much easier. And all the working moms I’m helping make their own career changes agree that slowing down and taking things one hour at a time is very beneficial.
I function better when I have tasks (and I get giddy checking them off my list). However, having 25 tasks on a to-do list and only get two finished is incredibly frustrating. The same concept can be used when it comes to the hours in your day. Having to think beyond the next hour—like the first big interview you have in your career change process two days from now—can suck the energy right out of you. Rather than worrying about the entire day (and beyond) try this trick. Cut your day into smaller chunks—like 24 of them!
If you’re dealing with virtual learning, working from home, have a new baby, etc. the hour-by-hour approach is refreshing and easy to implement. Focus only on what needs to get accomplished within the next hour. As I tell my clients, don’t think about the resume you have to write two weeks from now. Enjoy the process of figuring out what you want to be doing right now.
How to practically manage life changes
Life changes come in all shapes and sizes. Some affect your personal life and others your professional life. Many blend together and influence both. This hour-by-hour life change tip can apply to anyone and anything. Actually, you don’t have to be going through a major life or work change to benefit from this practice.
Think about your day. What’s left? Does the thought of the remaining meetings, virtual learning, making dinner, bedtime, etc. make your head spin? Stop for a moment and reset. What are the one or two things you must get finished in the next hour? Allow yourself to focus solely on those and release everything else. Don’t worry, they’ll get their turn later.
As working moms, we have a lot on our plate. (Take a look at this if you’re feeling alone in life right now.) Coping with life changes doesn’t have to feel completely overwhelming. In fact, you can use these changes to reenergize and refocus. When you’re able to accept—even embrace— life changes your world will become brighter. And when you can break everything that goes along with change into smaller pieces, life gets easier and there is more time to focus on the things that really matter.
Need more help handling a life change or challenge? Please send me a note directly.
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