The new year brings with it relief of returning to our daily routine and the comfort of having ordinary days. Regardless of the cultural event we celebrate or ignore, we have collectively passed through the winter solstice and anticipate increasing minutes of daylight.
We anticipate a subtle and evident cycle of change most with the arrival of the new year. Whether we harbour enthusiasm and delight or a low thrumming dread, how we anticipate change helps us learn about ourselves and the people around us.
You may be ambivalent about the arrival of a new supervisor or colleague at work, yet suspend your judgment about how their arrival affects you and the workplace. You may privately assess her character based on her willingness or ability to be colegial, professional and courteous. It seems straightforward to assess the impact of change in your professional life using these classic workplace measures, even when you realize you don’t like the new arrival one whit.
Changes in our personal lives can often feel like small eruptions that take us by surprise. Change could be an internal rumbling that has gone on for months until, one day, you see your relationship is over and you aren’t sure why or when it ended. Or you may feel the sharp sting of intense loneliness while comfortably tucked into bed with your partner.
Emotional discomfort frequently precedes change. Our ability to accept and tolerate unpleasant feelings, and the unsettled sensations accompanying them, is necessary to welcome change into our lives in a nonjudgmental manner.
Psychotherapy can help you learn how to tolerate emotional discomfort, to have more calm in your daily life, even in the midst of change. The psychotherapeutic session is a safe place to explore the meaning of changes in your life and let you move freely in the direction that aligns best with your values and goals.
January 4, 2017
Kate Lawton is a social worker providing psychotherapy in downtown Toronto. See the Contact page for availability, rates or to book a free initial session.