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Knowing When It’s Time to Move On

By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

Life affords us an opportunity to glean many lessons and in this new year, perhaps this one will hold significant value as we prepare to make better choices in 2024. Have you ever noticed that sometimes we can linger in places longer than we should?

The signs of staying past your welcome can be obvious if we’re willing to take a closer look. Let’s start with some physical and emotional signs you may see. Ever dealt with any of these – headaches, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, depression, lethargy, hopelessness or anxiety?

All point to signs that an evaluation is necessary to find the root cause. And you may not know this, but the body can be aware that something is off long before it reaches the mind.

There are such things, too, as psychosomatic symptoms. These are symptoms that are psychological in nature and often involve no specific medical diagnosis. In other words, psychiatric distress is often a root cause.

So, if you really take stock of your life, I don’t think it will be difficult to determine if you’re in an area past time, or when overdue. The question is, what do you do about it?

Let’s make this practical. When you bake a cake, you have a certain window of time for that cake to get done. If you keep it in the oven past the recommended timeframe, you’ll have a burned, nasty, smelly, brittle mess on your hands. So, in line with that example, what are some things we can do in order that we don’t stay in the oven too long?

First, constantly evaluate your situation or your life. Is it still pouring into you or, is it draining you? It’s especially important to ask if you notice any new physical symptoms associated with what you do.

Second, look to get whatever help you need, whether counseling, coaching, medicinal help or lifestyle changes. Get what you need to get back on track with your life.

And ask yourself some questions in the meantime. Are you overextended on the activities you participate in? Can you delegate some responsibilities to someone else? Do you need to cut off a relationship? Again, take stock and have an honest conversation first and foremost with yourself.

Third, build a support system. This is composed of people or confidantes and can include either family or friends who can help you talk through or work through your situation. I can hear some of you say that you don’t have anyone who fits this role, but I’ll push back ever so gently. I believe they are there, but for whatever reason, you may not have noticed them just yet. Think about those who support you in other ways, encourage you or listen to you in a non-judgmental way.

And think about this, support may not come in a traditional sense. Perhaps it’s as simple as a trip to a local café for a sip of coffee or a trip to a comedy show for some laughter.

Sidenote – laughter, I believe with all my being, is medicine. Sometimes it’s not about you telling all your issues to someone for a quick solution but participating in those activities that help relieve the pressure from all your issues.

I believe life has a way of taking care of itself if we’re brave enough to keep on living. So that’s my encouragement to you. Be bold enough to confront your issues and move when the season is over.

As always, I’m cheering for you and I’m just an email or phone call away.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.