The pandemic has made many workers reappraise their lives, time spent between work and family; therefore, a career shift will not be an impulsive decision. You have completed this decision, carefully going through all aspects; financial, familial and professional. 

However, despite your best efforts, you know that you are stepping into a new phase of your life, sans a regular paycheck or a daily schedule. 

Also, you are taking on new challenges, therefore, more prone to making mistakes, opening yourself to further disappointment.

Coping with a career change? 

 It is not the time to look at the cost-benefit analysis as you have intentionally committed to this new venture. So problems you get are part and parcel of your new life and can be solved with a “cool” mind; my mother’s words echo every time I undertake a new venture. 

A “cool” mind means a “calm” mind compared to a”hot” mind, the latter creating panic and disaster. 

One of the first steps to help you function better is the identification of your problems.

You feel guilty when you have to step away from your work, even for a much-needed break.

Adapting to your new schedule and a new lifestyle can lead to adjustment problems, emotional or behavioural reactions to the changes in your life. For example, you may find that you do not have the time for your morning run anymore. You miss the teamwork with your workmates and the lunch hours.

Another equally significant factor is that being solely on your own, you have to make impromptu decisions all the time.

Decision-making can be less stressful if you can focus exclusively on the problem. However, in reality, the decision-making process means accepting the panic, fear and self-doubts, which can lead to delay or entirely giving up on the new idea. 

How to stay grounded after a “wrong” decision?

You know ruminating and questioning your judgement is not what you need to move forward. Yet, the more you try to stop these thoughts, the stronger they become and soon affect your functioning.

Fear of failure can get internalized, leading to intense anxiety, hypervigilance and to burning out. 

Your thoughts impact your feelings, and together, they affect your behaviour.

I’ll be discussing techniques (based on cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness) you can use for a healthier you.

 Conscious connection to your breath

Brooding and ruminating never stops. It keeps you awake at night or wakes you up in the middle of the night. 

Instead of tossing and turning, take a deep breath, imagine you are breathing from your navel, upwards to your shoulders, pause and exhale, feel your stomach deflate. Stay empty of breath and pull in your stomach muscles. Then repeat with another deep breath. By focusing on your breath and not the time and letting the mind wander gently, you’ll drift off to sleep. At the same time, relaxing and tensing your abdominal muscles help with your anxiety management.

No action is still an action.

After a failure, you give up and, in essence, stop making any efforts toward your goal. However, you find that your mind will not stay inactive as you catch yourself brooding about your failed attempt. Therefore, in this case, no action is also an action, leading to hopelessness and despair.


Adding these strategies to your self-care routine will help you to remain an observer of your actions. You will stay objective, accept real or perceived failures with equanimity and be ready for all situations, good or bad. 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes and should not substitute for psychotherapy with a qualified professional.

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