Coping with Change

Coping with Change

It is no secret that change can be very uncomfortable. Sometimes you don’t see it coming and other times it is strategically planned and prepared for. Change can be tied to both positive and negative life events or circumstances. You may experience change through the loss of a loved one, a relationship or a job. Other times it may be a positive switch such as a promotion, new living situation or new partner.  But regardless of how the changes in life emerge, it is important for you to know how to best cope with those life adjustments and the many emotions that come with them. This will help you to better adapt to the new occurrences in your life while maintaining a healthy and balanced routine.

Here is a list of tips that could be helpful in addressing change:

  1. Acknowledge that things are changing.

The first step in adapting to change is acknowledging that it is occurring or will be happening. This may sound simple, but it happens to be one of the most challenging parts of change. People will often try and avoid accepting that things are going to become different or uncomfortable in some way, and then refuse to embrace those new scenarios and situations. Putting off this acceptance will only make the change more daunting and difficult to adapt to.

Avoiding change also contributes to an overwhelming amount of emotions. If you do not take the time to address how you are feeling about the new things happening in your life you can easily build up an excess amount of anxiety, stress or worry that can become depleting to your mental health. We encourage you to face those emotions and allow your mind and body to process them so that they do not become unnecessarily overwhelming.  

  1. Realize that even good change can cause stress.

Even if the change in your life is related to something positive it can still contribute to some difficult emotions. For example, when you get a new job it is often a very exciting time full of new opportunities and rewarding experiences. But with that new job there are still a lot of unknown circumstances that can be intimidating.

It is important that no matter what kind of life change you are experiencing, you take time to weigh and understand how it will affect your current emotional state. By preparing for that and being emotionally sound and aware, you will be better suit to deal with these feelings as they come up throughout a transition.

  1. Keep as much of your regular schedule as you can.

Change can make you feel like your entire life is off balance due to the discomfort that new factors and adjustments can cause. While going through these transitions, it is helpful to take time and focus on the things that are not different. By appreciating the parts of your normal routine that are remaining constant, you can begin to access more positive emotions such as stability, normalcy and comfort.

These feelings will help you to become more confident and capable of addressing what may be changing. In short, take some time to appreciate what is good and consistent in your life while other things are shifting. It is likely to make the change feel a lot more manageable and less overwhelming.

  1. Eat Healthy/Exercise.

As always, when you are experiencing emotional shifts it is crucial to keep your body as healthy as possible. The nerves and stress caused by change can make it harder to eat healthy or get an appropriate amount of rest. However, without the proper fuel our bodies are not going to be well prepared to cope with change. Be sure to eat a balanced diet full of proper nutrition. Use exercise as a way of releasing some of the anxiety or stress that may come from life changes. When your body is properly fueled, your mind will be better prepared to cope with the new things in your life.

  1. Give yourself a break.

It is important in these times of transition to cut yourself some slack. Coping with new things that are unfamiliar is never easy and everyone struggles with it in their own ways. Do not become overwhelmed by thinking you are not doing enough or are failing in some way. Give yourself credit for facing changes and being open to what they bring and allow yourself to feel both the good and bad aspects of those transitions. In order to truly master a life change, you have to be your own biggest fan not your toughest critic. All things become easier in time!

  1. Seek Support/Be open.

Finally, if you continue to struggle with facing change and embracing the challenges and emotions that it carries, it could be helpful to source support from someone. Reach out to a friend or family member that you trust and talk through your concerns with what you are going through. If you find that you are still unable to find the balance you are looking for, please give us a call at Cornerstone Counseling. We are well equipped to assist you in better acclimating to life changes of all kinds, and we are happy to help!  

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