Learn how to love your life, cope with change

May 19, 2008 5:11:50 PM PDT
Ariane de Bonvoisin, author of "The First 30 Days," has tips on how you can embrace change and move through life successfully.

Here are some basic tips to help get through many of life's common changes

Top 5 things to do for losing your job:

1. Take a breath.
- Take a moment to let the experience soak in.
- Examine what went wrong and resolve to move forward and find a better work environment.
- Feel the emotions fully, so you can let them go and be at the top of your game when it's time to start interviewing.

2. Assess your skills and passions.
- List your accomplishments and what you enjoyed most about your past jobs.
- Think about making a career change. What have you always wanted to do but never pursued? Now may be the time to pursue it.
- Take a skills assessment test, hire a career coach or read a book on finding the right career fit.

3. Update your resume
- Update your resume with your most recent job experience.
- Develop customized resume for each type of position you're considering, and develop cover letters that focus on your specific skills and why you're passionate about the company and that particular position.

4. Build your network.
- Your personal and professional networks are important keys to finding a new job.
- When you find a position that interests you, tell everyone you know about it. Someone is bound to help you.
- Start with your inner circle and build out. You never know who has the connection you need.

5. Stay positive.
- Stay positive about your job search no matter what happens.
- Just because you're out of work doesn't mean you're never going to find another job.
- This attitude and confidence will shine through in your application and your interview, making you an even more attractive candidate.

Top 5 things to do for your health diagnosis

1. Talk to your doctor.
- Get as much information from your doctor as you can about your condition.
- Women tend to get nervous around doctors and forget or avoid asking questions. It's critical that women get out of this fear and get as much info on your condition as possible.
- If you're concerned that you've been misdiagnosed or you are not comfortable with your doctor, get a second or even a third opinion. Most doctors encourage this.

2. Know your health coverage.
- Find out what tests and treatments will be covered by your health insurance plan and what you'll have to pay for.
- Check to see if your doctors are in your insurance network and, if not, how much you'll be responsible for financially.
- If you don't have health insurance, make sure to ask for a price quote before any treatment or test, and ask your providers if they can work within your budget.

3. Research your condition, but not too much.
- Use the internet wisely. Women tend to self-diagnose or freak out based on what they read about on the web. Only to it for referencedon't go trying to guess what your situation is.
- You can bone up on the latest and experimental treatment methods, as new drugs and procedures are in constant development.

4. Change your lifestyle.
- Every diagnosis could benefit from a change in diet and exercise. Research shows that a balanced lifestyle is an important part of a healthy lifeand it could do wonders in boosting your body's ability to fight any sickness.
- Quit smoking as soon as possible and avoid alcohol. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet and eliminate processed foods. Also, try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, most days of the week.

5. Be patient and trust your intuition.
- Women tend to have uncanny intuition, but they rarely listen to it. If you feel something is wrong, speak up.
- At the same time, work on your patience. Your body may take 30 days or longer to recover and it will take time for a treatment to work.
- Believe you'll reach a new "normal," and soon enough you will.

Top 5 things to do for breaking up:

1. Accept that it's over.
- Let go of the idea that the flame can be rekindled, and you'll quickly move on.
- The relationship ended because it wasn't working.
- View it as a learning experience and do your best to be grateful for it.

2. Don't contact your ex.
- Do your best to avoid interacting with your ex unless it's absolutely necessary.
- When the urge to call strikes, call a friend who will talk you down and help you work out your feelings.

3. Avoid rebound relationships.
- Dating someone else right away will be a distraction, not a solution.
- This should be a time of self-examination.
- Running to a rebound relationship robs you of the opportunity to evaluate what went wrong and whether these problems are just a pattern of setting yourself up for defeat.

4. Call a friend.
- Friends exist for moments like these. Who else is going to sit down with you and analyze every possible detail of what was right or wrong in the relationship?
- Those friends will also be there to give you a fresh perspective and help you get back to your everyday life.

5. Avoid the blame game.
- It might temporarily bring comfort to feed your sense of self-righteousness by saying, "He/She was such a horrible person." This isn't helpful.
- Also, don't blame yourself. You're not a terrible person and you don't deserve to be blamed.
- The truth is there were two people in the relationship and both made mistakes.

Top 5 things to do for working after your baby:

1. Find the right caregiver.
- Picking the right caregiver to take care of your child is among the most important keys to your success.
- Use a reputable agency or other resource to find an appropriate provider, but always trust your instinct when it comes to selecting the right candidate.
- Once you have chosen a caregiver, establish a solid line of communication from day one. Ask your baby's caregiver to give you more information than you may need during your phone calls and face-to-face chats.

2. Give yourself time to adjust.
- Expect to feel imbalanced and anxious during the first week or month back at your workplace.
- Though you may have been away from your job for only a matter of months, the work environment may feel a bit alien. Allow yourself time to warm back up to your professional life.

3. Talk with your employer.
- More companies are willing to negotiate a modified work schedule and other provisions during the initial few months after maternity leave.
- Meet with your employer to discuss returning to the office in stages, rather than returning to your pre-baby schedule immediately. Be upfront about how much you are willing to be available.
- You may want to discuss other ways to ease your transition, such as establishing a lactation room or even laying the groundwork for an on-site daycare center.
- As you ease into your new routine, keep the dialogue open so everyone is on the same page.


4. Dress for success. - When it comes to your post-baby wardrobe, you may find yourself between sizes: too small for pregnancy clothes, too big for regular ones.
- While your body is still changing, invest in some transitional garments to get you through the first few months of work. Looking sharp is a real mood boostersomething you may need right about now.

5. Reject guilt and shame.
- Acknowledge the grief and anxiety you may feel about separating from your child, then let it go.
- Resist the urge to think negatively about this transition by reflecting on the positives: You stand to gain financial security, intellectual stimulation and more time to yourself.
- On the job, be as positive and professional as you caneven if you'd rather be at home.

Top 5 things to do for losing pregnancy weight:

1. Do it the healthy way.
- Don't buy into crash diets that will suck your energy and not provide your body nutrients if you're breastfeeding.
- The best way to lose your baby weight is with a healthy diet of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats, and a regular exercise routine of 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.
- If you're unsure about what you should or shouldn't be eating as a new mom, consult your doctor, a nutritionist or a weight loss plan like Weight Watchers that can help you cater your meals to your body's needs.

2. Give yourself a realistic timeline.
- Sure, Angelina Jolie, Christina Aguilera, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez snapped back to their pre-baby weight in record time, but that doesn't mean you should. Don't buy into the hypelose weight at your own pace.
- Strive for healthy one to two pound weight loss per week. Any more and you risk putting the weight right back on.

3. Breastfeed!
- Not only is it the healthiest thing you can do for your baby, but it might help you shed the baby weight faster.

4. Get support from your mommy friends.
- The most important element of any weight loss program is support.
- Why not get together with your friends and even other mommy friends who want to lose baby weight and be there for each other through the cravings and the lack of motivation and push each other to succeed.

5. Get the family involved!
- Find ways to exercise with your child, whether it's strapping your baby into a Baby Bjorn while you're doing housework, going to a yoga with your baby or going out for a walk as a family, find ways to incorporate everyone into your fitness routine.
- Get your partner interested in your plan to lose weight. In all likelihood, your partner could probably stand to shed some pounds as well

"The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More)" is available in all major bookstores and on her website: www.first30days.com. You can also buy her book on Amazon: "The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Any Change (and Loving Your Life More)"


Load Comments