We’re going to get real-real today friends. And I don’t meal real food real, this is real life real. I’ve gone back and forth about writing a post like this for some time, and at the end of the day, I hope it may help others persevere through times of change, too.

If you’ve been following along then you know that before this blog started, I moved to North Carolina. As I’ve put it before, “to follow my heart, find adventure, and live on the beach.” I wasn’t sure where it was going to go when I started FITK a year and a half ago. The name Fork in the Kitchen was born from the kitchen being my happy place in stressful times – the place that brings me comfort.  It’s where I go to “figure it out” while kneading dough, stirring a simmering sauce, or rolling out fresh pasta – to calm the craziness of life.

10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen

That was and still is true, and to expand on that, it also came from the phrase “fork in the road” (betchya hadn’t figured that one out ;)), because I had no idea which way life was going to take me. I was newly unemployed from an “in-between” job, burnt out from the prior 2 years of teaching, and the boy I moved to North Carolina with was deployed.

10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen

Repeat: I had no idea where life was going.  It was all the uncertainty and change (and time on my hands) that pushed me to start this blog that I’d wanted to do for years.

Now, almost three months ago, without going into too many unnecessary details, life threw more change my way; my world was completely turned upside down, and each and every aspect was going to be new. There was loads to figure out. I unexpectedly found myself ready to move back home to Minnesota, leaving behind the life I’d created in North Carolina.

While change can be scary, super duper scary, in fact, it’s essential for growth.

Fun fact: if there’s anything I love more than good food, wine, and kitchen dance parties, it’s reflection and growth. <- super cheesy, but seriously, I am a big fan of all things Brené Brown, Oprah, and personal development books.

Minnesota // Fork in the Kitchen

Anyway, back to change – yep, the past 3 months have been filled with an insane amount of change for me; unexpected, messy change, which has required serious reflection, as much positive thinking as possible, and loads of support. I’ve always believed everything happens for a reason, even if in the moment we may not see it.

10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen

If you’re out there going through messy changes too, I wanted to share the top things that have helped me through the unexpected changes life brings.  I present to you:

Top 10 ways to navigate through change:

  1. Listen to your intuition.
    • If you’re quiet enough, your gut is already telling you what you need to know.  Jess Lively has some amazing work on this, and my discovery of her podcast couldn’t have come at a better time.
      • Follow the flow. Go with what comes easily.
  2. Write it all out.
    • Let the thoughts/words/ideas out of your head and onto paper. Even better? Start a gratitude journal. I promise if you look close enough there are many things to be grateful for even in the craziest of times – and that’s what’s going to keep you getting through.
  3. Get out into nature.
    • What is it about fresh air that magically clears your head? Remember: deep breaths. It helps to remember we’re just a small part of this world and your change is not the end of it but a new beginning.10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen
  4. Friends and family.
    • Seriously – reach out, be vulnerable, and let your friends be there for you. It’s amazing who goes the extra step when you need them the most. Keep these people close. Be grateful (see #2) for those who take extra time to check-in with you. Friends like this should be cherished.
  5. Move your body.
    • Take a leap with the discounted new membership for the yoga studio you’ve been meaning to try, walk outside (see #3 – these all go together), or dance around your kitchen. Just move. Endorphins are so good.
  6. Ask yourself this: what are you looking forward to?
    • When one door closes, it is true that another opens. You might not know it – or see it – yet, but it does. So stop and think, what might it be? What can happen now that couldn’t before? I’ve learned we start to feel stuck when we’re not fully living the life we want – and life has a way of changing if you don’t do it first. So what good things can this time of change bring?10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen
  7. Essential oils.
    • In my attempt to live an all-natural life, essential oils play a huge part. I ordered this diffuser because it runs for 8 hours, which means calming oils are diffused all night long to settle a racing mind and induce peaceful sleep. My nighttime favorites: ylang-ylang and lavender.
  8. Listen to yourself.
    • Be sure you listen to what you need. This is kind of like listen to your intuition, I know.  But I mean it more of the voices in our head that say “you should do this…” when you really don’t want to. Listen to what you really want/need in the moment – not the “should” voice – and not the “should” voice of others, either. Need to watch a movie and cry? Cozy up. Need to go for a 4 mile run? Just do it. Don’t feel like doing a damn thing? Then don’t. You need to listen to you right now and don’t feel guilty for whatever you need (unless maybe of course it’s illegal or puts others in harms way, but we’re not like that here).
  9. Let yourself feel what you’re feeling…
    • …but don’t get stuck. If you’re sad, be sad; cry, let it out, but don’t forget to keep moving forward, too. Don’t get stuck in negative feelings or thought patterns. Feel what you feel, but also take steps to keep going, reflect on why you feel that way, and focus on the next thing. Again, don’t feel guilty for your feelings – no real growth happens without acknowledging our thoughts, feelings, and learning from it.
  10. Treat yourself!
    • At the end of the day, going through life changes can be like riding a roller coaster. And I hate roller coasters. So don’t forget to be kind to yourself, and if that means having an extra scoop of ice cream, or getting your nails done, a little indulgence is worth it.

10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen

Obviously it goes without saying that “get in your kitchen and start baking/cooking/dancing” is on this list– because what would healing be without that? That’s my bonus nugget, and guess what, it easily ties into a few of the above.

Please share with me your top ways for dealing with change, too! I love new ideas and you guys have the best ones.

Keep learning, growing, and eating good food, friends!

10 Ways to Navigate Through Change // Fork in the Kitchen