One of the few guarantees in life is that everything changes. Good or bad, things change. Life does not stay the same for any of us. From a global perspective to a personal one, there is often turmoil and a great sense of unknown facing us.
Change, or the potential of change, can be a cause of stress for us and yet, change also provides us with new opportunities we would otherwise not have.
The choice can be to move with the flow of change or to stubbornly plant ourselves as a rock (or boulder!) causing turbulence (more stress) as we refuse to budge our position against the river of change.
Today, I encourage you to ask yourself this question, “How do I respond to change?”
If I constantly try to grab onto the way things have always been, I will be fighting a battle that requires tremendous amounts of energy which is almost always wasted. The whole process becomes even more stressful, having a tremendously negative impact on my whole life and those around me.
Note: A common definition of stress is the fear that I can’t control whatever faces me with the resources I have.
Physiologically the response of stress and/or fear, triggers our innate defense systems which prepare every system to meet unusual challenges, whether they’re physical realities or psychological fears. The result of too much of this fight or flight reaction creates a cascade of hormone surges in the body which have specific effects – elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, breathing problems, digestive disturbances, headaches, muscle tension, immune dysfunctions that make you more prone to allergies, autoimmune illnesses or infection.
If those reactions are short lived and the system recovers balance quickly, the physiology responds and the effects are limited. But if it is prolonged and frequently repeated, the negative effects of stress will be present for you. In addition, those around you may notice that you are more irritable and difficult to deal with as you are operating out of conscious or sub-conscious fear.
Have you had the experience of walking into a room with people who you knew were arguing before you came in, you could just feel it? The energy we carry is felt by others with whom we come in contact. If I am living in a state of stress and/or fear of what is happening in the world or in my own life, others around me will be affected by that, too.
Part of the practical wisdom of dealing with change is to stay aware of just how stressed you are to avoid going off the deep end.
That requires awareness as well as discipline to take appropriate steps. If you are feeling irritable and blowing things out of proportion, sometimes the most basic tension-reducing tools, such as getting more exercise, sleep, and down time, can restore you to balance. This may seem too simple, but it is true.
Life has given us in this office the opportunity to change now, too. Marsha Sendar, who has been available to all of you with her skills as a nutritionist, is re-focusing her work to her private practice and will no longer be available in this office. And Maria, who has efficiently helped all of us with supplements and many other needs, has for personal reasons, resigned from the office. We wish them both the very best that life has to offer and are grateful for the service they have given.
As a staff we are moving thru these changes by taking time to breathe, to communicate, to support each other [and you] as we re-focus and open to new ideas and possibilities.
I am always looking for ways how we can better serve your needs as patients and continue to provide optimal care.
And, now, as a natural progression with that goal, we open to new possibilities as we announce and welcome Adrianne Bowes, RN, CPHQ as our new clinic nurse. (See her bio below.) Adrianne will be in the office for a few hours most clinic days providing nursing support with roles like giving injections, working on refills, emails and eventually some patient teaching. Welcome, Adrianne! And please introduce yourself to her when you are in the office.
Melissa is expanding her role in the office and will be covering responsibilities for supplements – thank you, Melissa for stepping up to do this. I am now looking for a very part time support staff person to join our team to re-create the coverage we previously had. See ad below and share with anyone you feel would be a good fit.
As we shift and change in this office, know that our continued goal is to support you in your good health and well-being while practicing healthy living strategies ourselves.
Thank you for your understanding as we are in this process of growth and I am confident we will continue to build an even stronger team to provide the level of health care service you have come to depend upon from this office.
And for yourself, give the gifts of life that help to lower your stress response, that support you during change, and that create resiliency in your body, mind and spirit. They can be small things like taking a break, getting adequate sleep, a few deep breaths, a walk around the park. Especially during times of change, even these simple common sense steps can have profound effects reminding you that life is worth living.
Jane Kennedy, CFNP, MN, MPH