An abrupt, unwanted change in your life will forcibly put you at a crossroad. Whatever has created your present situation, you may be feeling a range of negative emotions (anxious, angry, sad, bitter or a mixture of all of them).
You could keep looking back or you could take a leap of faith and start anew. The weight of our emotions or the fear of the unknown make it challenging, but deciding to take a few simple steps forward can make a profound difference.
The good news is, you do not have to wait until spring or new year to make a fresh start.
Here are 5 simple things you can do today:
1. Indulge in nature
Get out of your house and take a stroll. It doesn't matter if you are living in the city. Go for a walk or a bicycle ride in the park, playground, or just around the block. Let people and your surroundings distract you. Marvel on manmade structures or enjoy the beauty of nature in adversity. Let it take your mind away from what you are feeling and focus on the present moment. Doing this will let your deeper mind process whatever it is you are going through and feeling. Studies have shown that just 20 minutes of time with nature has a real, measurable effect on stress hormone levels.
2. Get some sleep
Worrying will not solve anything and sometimes all it takes is a little rest to clear your thoughts. A night of quality sleep will not only recharge your weary body but also clear your mind so you can assess your situation better. If you have trouble going to sleep, indulge in a long bath, put on soothing music, and try to unwind. Clear your thoughts from worry and sink into a rejuvenating sleep. Once you're well-rested, you will have a much better outlook on life.
3. Connect with loved ones
Going through a difficult season in your life is more bearable if you have someone to share it with. Connect with your family and closest friends. Try opening up to them to ease your burden. Sometimes all we need is a hug or a listening ear to get a new lease in life. Their company can also provide a good distraction. Connecting with your loved ones can make you realize that there are people who care for and love you, which brings a richness in life you can't get anywhere else.
4. Learn to let go
Nothing can age you faster than guilt burdening you incessantly, or bitterness consuming your heart. Learn to let go of your regrets, bitterness, hurts, and disappointments. Ask forgiveness from those you've wronged and learn to forgive those who wronged you. Let go of your guilt and resolve any offense that causes your misery. You do not have to like those who have hurt you, or include them back in your life, but you do need to learn to "let go", to avoid giving them power over your happiness.
5. Unplug from technology
The internet gives you a constant stream of information. The news by nature only gives you the negative, making it seem as if the world is a terrible, unsafe place, and adding to your stress, while ignoring the vast majority of good that surrounds us. Constant texts, email, social media and phone calls force you to constantly make decisions, which is taxing to our brains. Especially if you are on vacation, trying to sleep, or connecting with loved ones, you should put your phone completely away and/or turn off the ringer and enable "do not disturb" mode. Taking a technology break will do wonders for your mind and emotional state.
Does this list seem too simple? There are many other things you can do; in reality, all you need is a little momentum. Pick whatever seems doable to you and take that first step, so new opportunities and a better situation can begin to unfold. Your fresh start can begin right now.