Did you get the sense this winter wouldnever end? After a loooong cold season, spring is just around the corner. We hope that sounds like good news!
Perhaps you’re looking forward to long walks outside, the blooming of flowers, and longer days ahead. Maybe you’re excited for an upcoming trip, a family event, or a spring holiday tradition.
But it’s also possible that the changing of the seasons will bring with it some growing pains. Whether you’re planning to reintroduce some foods or nervous about celebrations without gluten, dairy, or eggs, every seasonal change involves challenges, too.
In this post, we’ll talk about how to embrace change with mindset shifts. The best part? These tips are helpful whether or not you follow the AIP!
How you perceive the changes and challenges in your life, from seasonal change to a new autoimmune diagnosis, is in some ways a question of mindset. Adopting a growth mindset is one way we can focus on the positive aspects of facing down a challenge.
What is a growth mindset?
This term comes from psychologist Carol Dweck, who coined the term in her bookMindset: The New Psychology of Success.Dweckdraws a distinction between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
“In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort,” Dweck writes.
A growth mindset, on the other hand, allows us to embrace change.
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment,” she says.
By adopting a growth mindset, and truly believing we can grow in spite of adversity, we can begin to see challenges as an opportunity. How can you apply a growth mindset to the challenges you face as a result of the seasonal (or personal!) change?
One tangible and fun way to embrace a new season? Make a bucket list!
Start by thinking of all the seasonal activities you’ve always wanted to enjoy. In the spring, this might look like picnicking at a nearby park, taking a walk around a lake, hiking in a nearby forest, or enjoying an al fresco dinner on your patio.
Perhaps there’s a museum you’d love to visit in your very own city. Put it on the list! Maybe you’ve always wanted to host a dinner party but have hesitated because of your new AIP restrictions. Invite those friends over and show them how delicious AIP foods can be!
In some ways, that bucket list is like a gratitude list; it forces us to focus on the wonderful opportunities available to us with the changing of the seasons.
Best of all, a bucket list helps you truly make the most of a season and minimize regret.
Often, we feel overwhelmed because the thoughts in our head haven’t been given space to breathe. For those of us who learn best through writing, a journaling habit can provide a great amount of relief.
Simply putting pen to paper to write out how we’re feeling is a great first step toward accepting any new season in our lives.
Like any new habit, journaling flourishes when you make it a priority. Try picking up a new notebook and pen, and set it in a place you’ll remember. Then, ask yourself: when will I most need this time to myself, and when am I most likely to do it?
For some of us, the answer might be first thing in the morning, when our thoughts are clear and the pressures of the day don’t yet take precedence. For others, it might be before bed, when we tend to ruminate instead of falling asleep.
Once you’ve a time of day that works, set a short timer. Don’t let the blank page overwhelm you! Five to ten minutes is plenty for most of us to jot down important thoughts. If you’re stuck, try focusing on gratitude with a short list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day.
Write it all down and see where your words take you!
We really can’t overstate the power of community, whether you’re new to your AIP journey or just going through a time of transition. As our friend and co-founder, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, writes in her postAutoimmune Disease: A Road That Doesn’t Need To Be Walked Alone,
“Just knowing that you have people who are there for you, just feeling connected to even a small handful of people whom you trust and love, can make a huge difference in your ability to cope with, and heal from, chronic disease.”
Dr. Ballantyne writes that, while there are proven health benefits to connection, there is also great peace in knowing that someone “gets” what you’re going through.
So, our final tip is this: find someone with whom you can share your struggles through this transition. Whether it’s a partner, trusted friend, counselor, therapist, or new online buddy, it’s crucial that you find support.
AtStrength in Food, we’re dedicated to helping you ease the burden of healing with curated resources, snacks, and supplements designed to make your journey easier.Subscribe today, and let us know how we can help you along your AIP journey!
Let’s embrace this beautiful new season together!
In this post, we’ll talk about the principle of nutrient density and a simple exhortation for including more of it in your AIP: eat the rainbow!