Finding Focus in Your Life (and Health)

The last few months have been unprecedented for all of us and while it has been a time of great uncertainty, fear, and for many, loss, it has also presented us all with opportunity. Opportunity to examine our lives and really consider the possibility for change. Many of us are being forced to consider new careers, new homes, new towns, and even new relationships but perhaps it would be useful for all of us to realize that we are all capable of this scope of change at any time. Maybe the thing you want to change is your job, maybe you want to downsize your home, maybe you feel like you have grown beyond your current relationship, and maybe you really want to work on your health; you are capable of ALL of it. We can all do something different, be with someone different, live somewhere different, and achieve a different level of health. The question is, where do you start and how?

For me personally, the pandemic has given me a lot of time to think about the fact that there is never a “perfect time” for something and for me, the something I had been planning and waiting for the “perfect time” to show up for was a move to Fernie to start a midwifery/N.D. practice. It didn’t even occur to me that moving sooner was a possibility until after several conversations with different family members and a change in my personal circumstances, but once it did, I was able to make a plan for finances, licensure, etc., and set the wheels in motion leading me to move to Fernie in mid-May with plans to start up a practice by the end of the year. What does this have to do with you? Well, so many of us are going through life distracted and seemingly satisfied with the status quo and feeling like it is impossible to make any meaningful changes until we are forced to. None of us knows how long this new normal is going to last so there is no sense in waiting until it is over to make some plans for your future.

The first step is trying to figure out what it is that you want to change. Are you contemplating a new job? Do you want to focus on an aspect of your health such as your diet or implement a new fitness regime? Now might not be the time to plan a long-distance move or find a new job but that doesn’t mean that you can’t dream and start making plans for the future. What is it that you have been waiting to do? What are you waiting for? Make a list, journal, draw pictures, put together a vision board of magazine cutouts – whatever works to get it on paper in a way that is meaningful for you.

The next step is to determine what thesteps would be to achieve your goal. If you are contemplating including more plantbased foods in your diet or eating more whole foods, make a shopping list and seek out some resources for recipe ideas from your friends or online. If you are looking into a new job or career, start looking at what continuing your education would involve, work on your resume, and have a look at postings online to get a sense of what might be available. Talk to the people in your life about your plans because not only are they a wealth of information but talking about your goals tends to make the path to achieving those goals a little clearer while providing some accountability.

If you are forced into change as a result of outside circumstances, it can be scarier than making the choice to make the change on your own but that doesn’t mean that you are any less capable of doing so. That being said, this is a trying time for many people and it’s ok if it’s all you can do to just get through it with your health, your family fed, clothed, and sheltered, and your bills paid…or even less than that. There will likely be a healthcare crisis in the coming months and years as a result of this pandemic, with mental health at the forefront so even if you do nothing else, take the time to check in with your own mental health and that of those around you regularly and try to focus on activities (and foods) that promote optimal mental health. If you need help, please ask for it.

Find your focus and stay safe out there!