Do you get overwhelmed when faced with change? Does depression or sadness appear when you know you have to make adjustments in life that are not easy? Have you ever had change forced on you when you weren’t ready for it? Ever wondered why life changes so fast? Do you get anxious when you anticipate a change in your relationship/s? In your marriage? In your job? In your finances? In living conditions? In your health?
One thing that is inevitable in life is change. Change is fluid. Whether it’s going away to college (or a child going to college), moving to another home, starting or ending a relationship, a shift in your job or work schedule, or various other changes, learning to adjust to these changes may prove to be rather challenging.
You are definitely not alone! Most if not nearly all of our clients are going through a particular change or a multitude of changes and are gaining insight and direction into coping and planning for the adjustments that are needed with those changes.
Addressing change as it comes may prove to be a daunting task, but creating a plan of action to deal with these changes in your life can make a huge difference.
- Preparation mindset
We may or may not know when a change is coming yet we can put on a mindset for it. This is keeping life as simple as possible and recognizing change is part of life. Consider it as an adventure. For example, if you live in “tornado alley” then you know that seeing and being around a tornado will more than likely occur though you may not know when. You have a basement or cellar stocked with needed supplies, you know your routes to and from your various travel locations, and so on. You have a preparation plan that you may practice so when a storm is brewing you know what to do. This applies to changes in general. When you know a change is coming your way, prepare for it. If you know you are going to change jobs, get your resume together. If you know you have an upcoming meeting, do your research and note taking. If you are going to move, see what it would be like to live in the new area. Many people consider the weather or schools for their children to be important…so decide what would be important to you. Ask trusted friends or family who may have gone through similar changes how they handled it or what they learned about the change. Take notes, make lists, read books, go online, ask questions, and weigh the pros and cons about the situation. While you will never be able to predict all that will come with a change, you will be less surprised if you have considered and prepared for it.
- Give yourself time
After the shift in your life and as it is occurring, you may not be fully adjusted or comfortable at first. Be patient. Even when the change is positive, it may bring about modifications to your life and routine that take some time getting used to. Increment your time so you are not overwhelmed all at once. Expected events take time let alone unplanned or unwanted events or changes in life. Know that at times along the way, the unexpected things in life may throw us off guard a bit. So, acknowledge the unexpected in order to account for them in your overall transition. Pacing yourself a step at a time will help with the adjustments. Realize certain habits or routines will change as well, and so will your needs. With time also comes space or room for growth and improvement amongst these challenging situations. The changes may take a lot of energy and other resources so setting rigid goals before you face all of the challenges may set you up for failure or could make you feel worse. You cannot be aware of all of the aspects of change so allow yourself the freedom to get acquainted with the newness. Part of change is being flexible and embracing these new experiences.
- Maintaining self-confidence
Remember the story about the little yellow engine that could? His mantra as he faced the steep mountain was, “I think I can, I think I can”! Put your mind and spirit to the tasks. Praise yourself even for the little successes on your journey. Your attitude about the changes go a long way in how you approach the people and situations that are part of the changes. Realizing you have choices including how you will approach these challenges will impact you positively or negatively throughout the transition period. Reflect on previous times when you successfully handled challenges (no matter how big or small). Acknowledge and draw from what you have learned and gained from the past successes as you apply your creativity, your resilience to your new situation. Be mindful of your attitude, thoughts, feelings, and behavior throughout this process of change.
- Invest in self-care
Taking care of yourself is vital to your own well-being. Be aware of what you are eating,
understand that sleep is also important along with appropriate exercise. This may help you manage your stress levels in the transition in order to maintain positive self-care. Sometimes for some people, keeping a journal of the changes is helpful in processing their thoughts and feelings about the changes they have made and even the ones they still need to make. Another part of self-care is talking in confidence with a trusted friend or counselor in order to help sort out the changes you have and are going through.
- Make and adapt to a new routine
Having a routine is essential in the flow of life, while in times of change, it can prove to be invaluable. As you apply your new routine to you day-to-day living, it helps to generate a “new normal.” Recognize that not everything in your life will change, but some things will. As a result, the routine can help with the transition as you consciously combine some of your old routines into new ones.
- Embrace old memories as you look to get new ones
When you are comfortable with where you are in life it can be scary to make these changes. It can feel like you are abandoning important aspects of life that make you, you. However, keep in mind that holding onto memories is great, but don’t let them hold you back. Move forward and be excited to create new memories. Leaving your comfort zone can teach you more about yourself and you may discover skills and interests you never knew you had.
If you find yourself in an ongoing struggle with how you are coping with change, and you find your anguish too difficult to bear, you are not alone. There is help available for you. We have found that by working through the difficulties and pain related to changes, you learn to overcome them finding hope out of hurt, anger, sadness, frustration, and discouragement. You may want to see one of our counselors who is objective, kind, compassionate, a good listener, and who is ready to help walk you through these paths of change. Feel free to read other articles we have on this site or some of the other blog entries.
You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 520-292-9750.