Contending with Change

Three months ago I accepted a full-time role that requires me to work in an office environment. After a decade of independence as a freelancer working wherever I needed to or wanted to (and sometimes that was on a beach), I had a much harder time adjusting than I’d expected I would. I struggled with the obvious differences of working in an unfamiliar space versus my home office, conforming to rigid hours, as opposed to whenever I wanted or needed to. The list of things I had to adjust to became very long and after a week or two at my new role, I was feeling quite overwhelmed.

One would guess that the challenge might be predominantly in the job itself, the tasks, the demands and the learnings required to perform my duties. In truth, that was the easy part. I am an excellent editor, qualified for the position and given a large element of trust by my team, so that was not the issue.

As the days and weeks expanded and I successfully published my first issue of the magazine, I realized I needed to make some changes in order to be more content and ideally more excited about going to work than I actually was. Added to the demands of going into the office each day were evening events and travelling. As a daily meditator and yogi, I spent a good amount of time thinking about how I was going to do this. One of the largest elements missing in my day had become solitude. As a creative mind and someone who values silence and unstructuredness in order to be creative and productive, I knew I needed to carve more solitude into my workday as well as more time feeding my spirit and health. My weekends quickly became opportunities for me to hide away from others. I would serial watch European futball, knit like a maniac and cook large meals to freeze or eat for lunches the following week.

My life was out of balance.

When our lives are unbalanced, our bodies are the first to react: lack of sleep and a busy mind, bloating and skin breakouts, mood changes and tension in the muscles.  So I booked my first massage in months, got myself to a spin class and rode my bike on warm days through the forest near my home. I went to the market and bought healthy fresh food and planned meals in advance. I set out my supplements so I would not forget to take them and I decided to spend more time working from home and less time conforming to rigid office hours.

I’ve noticed the biggest change in my attitude; it has relaxed. I feel less resentful for the loss of my liberties that I’ve worked for so long to achieve. I am embracing the self-gift of sleeping later if my body is tired, attending a noon spin class because my fav instructor teaches it and working later in return, and saying no to evening events if I feel attending might cause imbalance the next day.

Plugging into your self is the key to recognizing a need to change in the face of change. The solutions are not always easy to establish, but if you can identify for starters the things that provide balance and nourishment you’re well on your way.