Deciding What's Next? Try These Steps To Deal With Your Stress
I am currently in the midst of a decision—and in the narrow scope of life I have lived thus far, it is a major one. You may have read my story from several months ago about my decision to move to Spain in September of 2015. After two years of teaching in a high-needs school in the United States I was tired, confused, and looking for a new type of fulfillment. That led to teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) in Spain for a challenging yet meaningful year.
I have grown as an educator, as a Spanish speaker, and as a global citizen. Yet, with every stage and transition in life, I now must decide: what do I do next? Do I continue living in Spain for another year? Do I move back to the United States? What would I do if I moved back? Do I embark on another adventure?
For some, this decision is easy. They fall in love with a new city or country, they are enamored by wanderlust and continue traveling the world, or they have a strong desire to return back to their USA life. For me, it's another nerve-wracking decision that leaves me confused, insecure, and wondering what is "the right decision." I don't have all of the answers. I am by all means a person that struggles with big decisions, but rather than worry, I am at peace. Where I will reside for the next year is inconsequential compared to how I will grow. But, to help me deal with the decision-making process, here are the things I am doing.
I choose books that interest me from the fiction and non-fiction categories, and I read them only for enjoyment. I feel most anxious when I read books to find answers rather than to enjoy and learn from them.
Whether this is the end of my Spain journey or just the beginning, every experience creates new relationships and greater clarity, and those experiences and people help shape the life that I love.
Reflect and appreciate more
Practice gratitude and thankfulness. I do this by writing letters to friends and family members to tell them how thankful I am for their presence in my life.
Listen more and seek to understand more
I try to listen, authentically and truthfully listen (although I often fail at this) to those around me. Every encounter is a learning experience.
Sit. Think. Be
What does your heart say? What does your head say? What do you want? Try to embrace the moments you are living.
I don't know how this journey will go, or how many steps there are until the end. But practicing these techniques gives me peace, joy, and (hopefully soon) clarity.