November 1, 2021

Pace, Place, and Perspective

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Change of Pace

It’s been 7 months of living life in the middle of a pandemic and, because of that, most of us have naturally experienced a change of pace. Our day-to-day rhythm has changed due to the unknown and ever-changing nature of COVID. Going places has been limited due to restrictions and state mandates and the ease of life 7months ago has now become quite complex. The hustle and bustle of the city has become far too quiet.

American author and pastor, Mark Batterson, shared an equation several years ago that I think is especially applicable right now.

Change of pace + change of place=change of perspective.

Since many of us have already experienced a natural change of pace, that leaves a change of place.

Change of Place

“Place” is an interesting concept. Some of it is our actual physical location and some of it is the space we create. “Place” plays an important role in our emotional well-being. Some people may feel this more strongly than others (for me, I need to have lots of natural sunlight in my home to feel calm and relaxed), but regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, our physical space can bring peace (or lack of) and stability (or lack of). A change of place can look like a change in our physical surroundings and also like a change in our work environment (especially one that might be toxic).

In a life that is currently filled with racial unrest, a pandemic, and general emotional complexity, experiencing peace and stability seems more important than ever. I know several people who have taken extended time away from the city–staying with relatives or friends, renting a home, or hoping in their car for a road-trip out west. Life in a city like Chicago can feel extra complex–there are more people in a closer proximity and the perks of the city are no longer perks during a pandemic (parks, public transit, museums, restaurants).

For some of us, going somewhere or getting a new job isn’t an option right now. That’s okay. There are other ways to change your space–try rearranging your condo, apartment, or home! Changing furniture around can make your space feel new and different. Decluttering, cleaning and organizing your space can also create a different sense of “place”.

Regardless of your individual circumstances, I would encourage you to think about how you can experience a change of place.
What will bring a sense of peace and stability to your life in the midst of lots of unknowns?

Change of Perspective

Now that we have a change of pace and change of place, what’s next?
A change of perspective!

Life over the past 7 months has allowed us to re-evaluate things in our lives–our careers, our relationships, how we spend our time, what we value, how we balance things, how we make sense of the world. What if life during a pandemic allows us to have a different perspective? A perspective that reminds us not to take things for granted; a perspective that sees opportunities to spend more time with our families, our kids, or in our home; a perspective that helps us appreciate a slower/different pace of life.

Regardless of having a change of pace and change of place, a change in perspective might still take some intentionality (although you will be well on your way if you have the first two parts of the equation). Changing our perspective requires a level of flexibility in our thinking. Most of us are hard-wired with our default responses. It is going to take some self-reflection to identify those default responses (I would encourage you to invite someone who knows you well into this process–they can provide feedback where you may be blinded) and an intentional choice to think about things differently.

(note: there are certain situations, such as depression, that make it challenging to change our perspective and might require care from a professional–that is different from what I am talking about)

Some questions to think about:

  • Where do I need to adjust my pace? (work, home, social life, etc.)
  • How can I create a new sense of place? (finding a new physical location, moving my home office to a different part of the house, rearranging my home, adding plants)
  • What value can a new perspective bring to my life?

I hope a change of pace and place and, ultimately, a change of perspective brings a sense of peace and joy to you in these strange, uneasy times.

Trying to think through the different parts of the equation can feel overwhelming. The therapists at Optimum Joy Clinical Counseling are equipped to help you navigate through what a change of pace, place, and perspective can look like in your own life. Reach out today!

Written by therapist Natalie Hu

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