Nov. 8, 2022

4 Things You Can Do Now To Manage Change And The Stress That Comes With It

4 Things You Can Do Now To Manage Change And The Stress That Comes With It

Change is inevitable. Yet, it's one of the things that we as human beings struggle with the most. In this episode, we'll share some of the major changes we've experienced in our lives, and four things you should know to help you manage stress.

Change is inevitable. Yet, it's one of the things that we as human beings struggle with the most. In this episode of The Fit Mess, we'll share some of the major changes we've experienced in our lives, and four things you should know to help you manage the stress that comes along with any change in yours.

We open up and get really vulnerable with you about the pains that we face and what we do to manage that pain and still, despite it all, try and live a happier, healthier life.

Something is going to change in your life too. Things might be great right now, things might suck. The good news is that it's going to change, but the way you manage it, and the way you respond to it, is the critical difference between thriving and being overwhelmed by it. 

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • How to accept that change is inevitable
  • Why it’s important to feel all of the feelings
  • Your story can be a tragedy or a comedy
  • Why better self-care is key to managing stress from change
  • Why a support system can help you get through change
  • Your struggle with change is actually less about the changes happening and more about how you think or respond to them

Don’t let the conversation end there. Join us in our Facebook Group where you and fellow Fit Mess listeners can connect for monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals, and a supportive community. 

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If You enjoyed this episode, check out:

Getting Stronger and More Resilient with The Mad Scientist of Strength, Chris Duffin


[00:00:00] Jeremy: Change is inevitable yet it's one of the things that we as human beings struggle with the most. In today's episode, we'll share some of the major changes we've experienced in our lives, and four things you should know to help you manage the stress that comes along with any change in your.

[00:00:15] Zach: This is the fit mess, where together we learn to develop habits that help us live beyond our mental health struggles to create happier, healthier lives. 

[00:00:23] Jeremy: He's Zach. He lives in the future with his anxiety.

[00:00:26] Zach: He's Jeremy and he lives in the past with his depression. 

[00:00:29] Jeremy: And we get together once a week in the present to share the obstacles we face and how we overcome them.

[00:00:35] and this week, the topic fits exactly what we're doing here at the show. Zach and I have been through a lot of changes over the last year and a half or so, and we're gonna make some changes to the show. We're gonna open up some more space for us to share what's going on in our lives, to get really vulnerable with you about the, the pains that we face and what we do to manage that pain and to still, despite it all, try and live a happier, healthier life.

[00:00:58] so the topic of this episode really is change. There are things you can do to manage it because it is inevitable. Something is going to change in your life. Things might be great right now, things might suck. The good news in both cases is that it's going to change, but the way you manage it, the way you respond to it,

[00:01:16] is the critical difference between thriving and being overwhelmed by it. 

[00:01:21] . And this is something that you and I have both been dealing with. You've had a little bit of a longer run of changing things dramatically over the last, uh, what year, year and a half. And I suppose I have too. I mean, you know, your, your marriage ended, you started a new job. I moved to a new country. I recently started a new job, and there are some common themes that come up for.

[00:01:42] Whether it's, change for good or change for bad

[00:01:45] . And one of the things I've been leaning on the most heavily lately is particularly I've, I've had some big changes in my life personally and. At first, they seemed stressful. They, they were kind of keeping me up. Thoughts were kind of racing. , one night I literally, I woke up at two o'clock in the morning and could not go back to sleep.

[00:02:02] I just boom, boom was up and was like, Oh my God. And I had to keep thinking about all of the conversations we've had on this show about reframing anxiety as excitement because it's the same thing, ? And so when. When I do that, when I would think about like, what's really going am, am I overthinking this because I'm afraid of the outcome?

[00:02:22] Or am I overthinking this because I want to do this really well, because I'm excited about it? And just sort of making that switch was helping to, helping to put it, you know, to, to calm it down a little bit, uh, and, and get a little bit more under control, or at least, I guess, change my relationship with the feeling instead of sort of feeling out of control.

[00:02:39] I was able to go, Oh, okay. It's all right. You're just excited. That's okay. You can just, you can just feel that that's,

[00:02:45] Zach: You're excited, go back to sleep. How'd that work for you? 

[00:02:48] Jeremy: Didn't work out so well when, uh, you know, I was exhausted at four in the afternoon. , but it, but I was laughing cuz I woke up and I was like, I'm up at about the same time as Zach today. That's kinda weird.

[00:02:57] Zach: Uh, well, no. If you woke up at two, that would be what, 

[00:03:00] Jeremy: Yeah. You were already up for half an hour I guess 

[00:03:02] Zach: Yeah. I was already, I was already at the 

[00:03:03] Jeremy: I, but I thought about texting and going, Good morning. I'm awake too.

[00:03:08] Zach: Yeah. That would've thrown me a little bit. tough up. Yeah, it has been, it's been like a year, year and a half, year and two months of change in my life too. . But the one thing I have really understood in, you know, took me, I don't know, 40 years to understand this, is that I want it or not.

[00:03:29] change is, 

[00:03:31] Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

[00:03:31] Zach: you can go against it and not accept it, which is gonna make it really fucking hard. Or you can just be like, Yep, you know what? This is what it is.

[00:03:40] Let's, let's make the best of it. And it's, it's a decision in your own head. Like it's a decision that you make and , Change. Yes, change is hard and I don't wanna deal with all the change, but the way you approach it, the way you, the way you answer to it, makes a huge difference in how you get through it. 

[00:04:00] Jeremy: it's interesting you bring that up. I the other. I was sitting at one of my kids after school events and they're doing their thing and it's an expensive thing, right? And, , like I said, I started a new job. So there's, there's a financial relief that, that I've been, , enjoying recently, , after sort of a year of sweating bullets a little bit.

[00:04:19] But I sat there thinking about all the things my family's done in the last year and a half, literally immigrating to a new. Selling our house, getting our kids into new schools, starting new jobs, all just all this stuff. And I flashed back to a year and a half ago, standing on the porch, two doors down from where I live now, looking out at nature and going, My life is here.

[00:04:42] I want this to be how I live my life. And all of the steps that I took, every mountain that had to be climbed, every path that had to be paved, led me to that moment. My kids after school event, and I was overcome with emotion, , that I would describe as pride, , joy, satisfaction. And it was one of those moments where I looked back and just went, I, I built this, I manifested this that morning looking out at, at nature on the porch and when I want this and I got to work building it.

[00:05:21] Literally was like in tears sitting like trying to not cry around all these other parents. And you know, they have no idea what's going on in my head. I'm just like living this little celebration in my head. Like, Holy shit, pat myself on the back. Look at me. I fucking did something really hard. That's awesome.

[00:05:35] But what was, But what was interesting is, you know, typically what follows that feeling is, well, this isn't gonna last. This is, this is gonna implode in my. That did show up that like there was this moment of this isn't this, this moment isn't permanent. This feeling isn't permanent. Things will get hard again, some other new challenge will present itself.

[00:05:55] But instead of like going and like letting that extinguish the flame, it let it burn a little brighter. Because I was like, none of this is permanent. So when I have this, soak it up, like just feel the shit out of. 

[00:06:10] Zach: Mm-hmm. 

[00:06:11] Jeremy: it's gonna get hard and, you know, depression's gonna kick in at some point, or some bad thing is, of course, something bad is gonna happen.

[00:06:17] Everything changes. That's, it's inevitable. So enjoy this. And it was just such a, a, a refreshing feeling. I don't, I don't remember another time really being able to have the two conflicting thoughts or feelings about this is awesome, but it's not gonna, And having it feel good instead of just feeling like, Oh, well give up on this happiness because this is, this is going away soon.

[00:06:41] Zach: That's very interesting you said, So two things. Your change would've happened faster had you cried in front of the other parents, cuz you would've been the weird guy. 

[00:06:47] Jeremy: Exactly. Yes,

[00:06:51] Zach: But so can I, can I just say I told you so 

[00:06:54] Jeremy: Sure. Go for 

[00:06:55] Zach: I got, I got it. And I 

[00:06:56] Jeremy: know. I know how much you like to, So go ahead.

[00:06:58] Zach: because for how long have I been telling you like glass is half full instead of half empty. And that's like exactly what you just described. Like Yeah, there's some open space here. but look at how full the first half of the glasses,

[00:07:12] Jeremy: Yeah,

[00:07:13] Zach: right.

[00:07:13] That's a huge.

[00:07:15] Jeremy: but I, but I think because I've, I grew up in a family where scarcity was sort of the mindset, and so that was what. I've lived with, is that like, I don't have enough. I can't, I'm not capable of, That's for other people I'll never achieve. And I literally, I mean, I literally at 45 years old, rebuilt my lifestyle, my home, , like everything we went, We want this to be something else.

[00:07:45] What do we want it to be? How do we get there? And now, you know, the confetti's. And it's just, it's, I, I don't, I know I've accomplished things, right? I know I've done things in the past, but normally I can dismiss them as, Oh, well, I, I knew, I knew somebody that got me in, you know, Oh, my job had gave me access to this thing.

[00:08:05] Like, I could always dismiss it as something outside of myself, but I feel like this is the first time maybe ever, No, that's not true. Outside of having my kids. Uh, although, you know, let's be honest, Cheryl did all the work.

[00:08:20] Zach: I was gonna say your, your, your part in that 

[00:08:22] Jeremy: Very, very small. Very small. 

[00:08:25] Zach: small.

[00:08:26] and you know, was gone in an instant 

[00:08:28] Jeremy: Yes. But, but the same is true here, right? Like, I have the support of my family and, and my kids have gone along for this crazy ride, all this stuff. , but I feel like this is the, maybe the first time that I can feel like I did, like I set out to do something and it, and it worked literally every box.

[00:08:45] Zach: Yeah.

[00:08:47] that's, And that's something to be really proud of. I mean, what you did took a lot of courage and you went into it like eyes wide open, like, I'm making this change, I'm doing this thing. , and you should be really proud of that. And I think, you know, for me, I've got almost a different story, , where I've had a couple of moments like that, , about myself, like that I've made this change.

[00:09:08] Um, as you mentioned earlier, like, you know, my marriage ended last year and being back on the dating scene, like I've had to tell my life story a couple of times to, , ladies that I've been on a date with.

[00:09:20] Jeremy: Yep.

[00:09:22] Zach: And while my life story has been very, you know, like for me it's normal, right? It's like, huh, That's just how everyone was raised.

[00:09:28] , we both know that's not true. And it was very traumatic childhood. It was very different. , very repressed, you know, all these messages that were given to me as a child and like getting through like my thirties and like, even like through my divorce and. I had that moment I think I told you about, like standing in my kitchen one day of like, holy shit.

[00:09:48] Like I'm, I look at all this stuff that I did to get out of the, I mean, like, everyone thought I'd be dead or in jail. 

[00:09:56] Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

[00:09:57] Mm-hmm.

[00:09:57] Zach: Look at everything I did to get out of that, to be successful, to be where I am. And where I came from was the fucking gutter. had those moments of like looking back too, where like I'm not, it wasn't an active change. Like it was just, this is how my life has happened. And I, I told you that story. I was standing in my kitchen, like, brought me to tears, just like being like, Oh my God, I am like, you know, good looking and, and smart and intelligent and capable and all of these things.

[00:10:27] And I just believe the. 

[00:10:30] Jeremy: It's amazing those moments where you do overcome all of that programming and realize you're capable of maybe more than you ever even thought.

[00:10:40] Zach: Yeah. And even after you've done things and you're looking back and you're like, Oh, I did do some stuff, and you don't realize it in the moment 

[00:10:47] Jeremy: Yeah. 

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[00:11:10] Zach: So both of us have been through a whole lot of change. Some of it kind of happened to us, , some of it we just fell into. But I know both of us now in our lives, we really do work to actively manage the change that happens in our lives in a and and have it happen in a positive way, whether it's negative or positive change.

[00:11:27] So, you know that we don't lose our fucking minds when the inevitable. 

[00:11:31] Jeremy: Yeah. Yeah. So we have four things for you that we hope you'll take away from this episode that will help you manage the stress that comes along with whatever change is thrown into your life or that you willingly bring into your life. Uh, and I'm actually gonna skip ahead to number two because I feel like it's more powerful.

[00:11:45] Number one's really obvious. We'll get to it in a minute, but number two, I know out of order is. Really just feeling the feelings that come with it, really allowing it to happen. And there's lots of ways you can do that. You can journal about it, you can talk to your therapist, you can talk to a family member.

[00:12:00] Just talk to somebody who will create space, who will allow that to happen. Or in, in the case of this episode, perhaps talking to a, so a good friend of yours and just complaining about all this struggles that you've been through and. Really celebrate how you got through it and got to the other side.

[00:12:14] That's, to me, that's what this episode's been all about, is just being able to share with you, Zach, my friend, about changes that I've been through, some of the pains that have come with it, but the inevitable, I believe, success. That's on the other side of it, or, Or perhaps even the lesson, if it's not a success, that there's always something good.

[00:12:31] I think that can come from whatever changes thrown into.

[00:12:34] Zach: And as an example for me, when my marriage ended, I had, I think I've told you, like I had three days of feeling the feelings, and I really, really, really focused on feeling those feelings and just remembering number two, that you went with number one. Now you're confusing me though. But feeling those feelings for three days.

[00:12:52] Like, and, and you know, three days is not, you know, the number of days I chose to feel the feelings, that's just when it ended, I felt the feelings and I was like, Okay, now I'm ready to move on. So it, it is really a critical part of it. 

[00:13:06] Jeremy: That was a, I don't know how you, That's a fucking magic trick that you pulled off. That was, that was something unlike anything I've ever seen in my life. But, okay, let's go back to number one on the list. And that is just, I, it's just, it's so simple and that's why I skipped it. But it's just accepting it, right?

[00:13:19] It's something's gonna change if things are great right now. . Great. Feel that. Feel that too. That's okay. But know that, yeah, that's gonna change. If things suck. If you're in the middle of a shit storm right now, good news, it's gonna change. , so if you can just start to sort of create that space in your life and allow for whatever feel you're feeling now is fine because it either sucks and it's gonna pass, or it's great and something's gonna challenge it.

[00:13:45] So just be aware. Allow that to be a part of your experie.

[00:13:50] Zach: So I kind of like number three though, tragedy and comedy, like all change, , can be positive and bad. , but you know, you can choose, you can like write out a story, like you can actually. Make a choice to have change be a positive thing, even if it's a negative change, you can choose for it to be a positive thing, ? 

[00:14:09] Jeremy: And, and literally may I mention journaling. You can literally write the story, write the ending that you want to have happen, create that happy ending in your mind and put it on paper. And, and, and in a way the universe will sort of hear that and can possibly, you know, bring that happy ending to you if you make it a reality somewhere outside of your mind.

[00:14:27] But you can also write down the worst case scenario if it's the story that's rattling around in your head. And this is gonna end in a fireball and terror and horrible. Write that down too. Just get it outta your head. Let, it's just taking up free space in your mind. So put down both stories and every time that you sort of come back to that dark doom bad, you know, terrible case scenario, review the good case, you know, review the positive story, review the one with the happy ending, and try and feel how it will feel to have that positive outcome and move forward from there 

[00:15:01] because it's like a magnet. Whatever, whatever energy you're putting out is what you're going to attract. And so if you can try and just focus on that positive energy, I feel like you have a better chance of having the better.

[00:15:11] Zach: And number four, this one's near and dear to my heart because not only for just change, but for just general life. It's better self care, ? I know for me, when I am working nonstop and I'm not taking the time to go to yoga or go to the gym or just take 10 minutes to breathe or meditate, , or eat the foods that I need to eat to be healthy, I'm not okay.

[00:15:32] And when that inevitable change comes and I start feeling the feelings and I start writing down my story, it instantly becomes a , 

[00:15:40] tragedy. 

[00:15:41] Jeremy: Mm-hmm.

[00:15:42] Zach: But when I'm taking care of myself, like my body is primed to be able to deal with this and be able to write the comedy or, you know, write the better story out of it when it does come.

[00:15:52] I don't know if that's the same for you or not, but 

[00:15:55] Jeremy: Y Yeah, it's, and I'll go back to the analogy that we made on, on a previous episode about the champagne fountain, right? If you fill that thing up on the top, all the glasses are gonna get full, and when the bottle's empty, your glass is still full and everyone gets what they need from you. But if you start at the bottom and you hope that there's enough left by the time you get to the top, most of the time, I think you're gonna find that your glass is pretty empty and you're not gonna be of, you're not gonna be very much fun at the party.

[00:16:18] I'll tell you that much,

[00:16:20] Zach: See, that's why I don't, I don't even fill anyone's glass. I just drink right from

[00:16:23] Jeremy: just straight out of the bottle. Just forget everybody else, . All of this and, and particularly Zach, you were talking about just strengthening for, for the bad times. It reminds me of the conversation we had with record breaking, , weightlifting champion Chris Duffin. It was episode 98 of our show, and he made the analogy of, , the strongest trees with the deepest roots are the ones that have withstood the strongest winds.

[00:16:45] And so every time that, that the storms come and, and challenge you, it's just strengthening you for the next one. again, whatever, whatever challenge you may be facing now or preparing to face, it's only gonna sharpen your blade and make you stronger for the next , and you have to lean into that training and recognize that you are getting stronger because it's so tempting to feel beaten down and weakened by it over and over again, but everyone that you get through makes you stronger for the next.

[00:17:13] Zach: Yeah, I I try and look at everything as an opportunity to strengthen myself for the next.

[00:17:19] Jeremy: All right, well there you have it. Our first, uh, guest free episode in quite a while. Thank you so much for listening. Uh, if you do wanna check out that episode with Chris Duff, and I think that there is a lot of lessons about strength and resilience.

[00:17:28] Again, that's episode 98. We'll link that here in the show notes for you. And while you're checking out the show notes, jump over to our Facebook group. There's a link there. We would love to have you be part of the community where we challenge each other to show up, to be vulnerable, to hold each other accountable for whatever goals we're trying to chase.

[00:17:43] The link to that is in the show notes for this episode, Thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week with a brand new episode. 

[00:17:51] Zach: See everyone.