Today, I went for a walk. That might not seem like a big deal, but for me it was a change, and I’d like to share its importance with you. I moved, and that IS a big deal. I’ll explain why it’s a big deal in just a bit, so bear with me while I give you some background first.

I haven’t written in a long time, mainly because I’ve been coping with tough times of my own. As with many of you, I’ve having difficulty with employment, the economy, and finances. I’ve been looking for positions as a staff psychologist (under supervision, since I just got my degree and still have to work toward licensure), and have not been having much luck. I’m finding – as I’m sure many of you are as well – that not having a lot of  experience is a pretty strong liability in this economy. In my case, employers are looking for post-degree professional experience, and licensure.

So, I’ve been applying for positions, and waiting to hear from potential employers for about 6 months now. This has been hard for me, because I’m not usually the kind of person who sits and waits, which brings me to the purpose of this post and the next few to follow. I’m finding that if I simply sit and wait, I become depressed, anxious and frustrated – and I’m generally not a pleasant person to be around when I’m feeling this way.

So, I decided to change the way I’m looking at my situation and living my life. Here’s where coping with tough times and moving comes in. There are things I can’t control, like the economy, and the fact that many of the places where I’d love to work want psychologists who already have their licenses plus experience. There are a multitude of things I can’t control, and if I focus on them, then it’s an easy slide down to feeling depressed and anxious.

However, I CAN control myself and how I choose to react to this situation. After talking to people and experiencing unemployment myself, I know that it’s very easy to slip into feeling helpless, hopeless, and paralyzed about the future. There IS something I can do though. I can move. I can move my body, my mind, my feelings and my thoughts.

Ok, I can hear some people groaning, “Oh no…another Little Miss Sunshine who thinks that if I think good thoughts, everything good will happen to me.” So… hang in here with me. I’m NOT going to promise that if you change your thoughts you will automatically attract good things. What I AM telling you is that if you work to change the way you’re thinking, feeling and being now, you may start to feel better.

What I’m suggesting is that you move – even if it’s just getting out bed to face the day. Moving can be as simple as reframing your thoughts from “I’m never going to get a job” to “Things are tough right now. I’m doing the best I can.” Moving can be, “OK…I’m feeling pretty crummy right now and I have no money. What CAN I do to help myself feel better?” and coming up with ideas. Moving can be noticing the very little, simple things that make life worth living. For me, this is the smiles on my children’s faces and hearing their laughter. It’s feeling the sunshine on my face and noticing the colors and fragrances of the spring flowers. For others, it might be the smell of a freshly-brewed cup of coffee, or the feel of your favorite blanket wrapped around you. The point is, moving – no matter how or how much – is a change that may help you start to feel better. And that’s why my walk today was so important – I moved.

I moved my body, and while moving my body, I moved my mind. Moving my mind (thinking) helped me move my feelings. During my walk, I thought about what I have to offer – what are my skills and talents?. I thought about how to share what I know with others who might be feeling the same thing. And I felt better about myself, in spite of my job situation. In short, moving helped.

SARK has on her website (www.planetsark.com) some worksheets that come from her book “Make Your Creative Dreams Real” involving what she calls “microMOVEments.” These involve taking baby steps toward creating and realizing a dream that you have. Whether you call them baby steps, micromovements, tiny leaps of faith – it’s still movement.

The world isn’t going to change because you move, but YOU may start to  change because you move. Honestly, this post – and the idea of coping with tough times – came out of my desire to feel better. I am “moving” by writing and sharing my knowledge with you. I can’t change the world, but I can offer my skills and gifts as a way to help me feel better and to hopefully make a difference for others who feel like I’ve been feeling.

I’m going to continue to write on ways to cope in tough times. If you have suggestions on topics you’d like to see, please get in touch with me : theothersideofthecouch@live.com . I’m always interested in feedback and ideas – my idea for next week is to write about coping skills and self-soothing, but I’m willing to be flexible based on what you’d like to see. Let me know, and move with hope in your heart and life in your soul!

Advertisements