Change is something that is inevitable, whether it be expected or unexpected, but how you cope with that change can make the world of a difference!
There are various life transitions that individuals, couples and families may have to learn to adjust to! Some of these transitions include (but not limited to): moving, death of a loved one, loss of a relationship/divorce, changing careers, beginning college, getting engaged/married, having a child, retirement and so much more.
One of the biggest changes that we have all experienced and can all relate to is of course COVID-19! Think about how scary it was a little over a year ago when the pandemic first began. We had no idea how long the pandemic would last for and just how much our lives would change in an instant with very little warning. We can all recall the lockdowns, working from home, the loss of jobs, children adjusting to e-learning, social distancing, wearing masks EVERYWHERE…the list of changes goes on and on!
Of course, now more individuals are getting vaccinated and we are hoping that the pandemic will soon be over, but there are still a lot of unknowns and the unknown is what makes this change even harder to adjust to!
I don’t know about you but change can be scary for lots of people! In fact many people find that change can elicit a number of reactions mentally, emotionally, and physically.
If you’ve ever felt a reaction to change you may have noticed any of the following: depression, anxiety, sleep issues, headaches/migraines, mood swings, trouble concentrating (or remembering), increased/decreased appetite, lack of motivation, denial, anger, relationship conflict, fatigue, withdrawal from others, etc.
It’s no wonder the last year has been incredibly tough for so many people!
Can you identify with any of these reactions within yourself when you think back on times you’ve had to adjust to a change or transition in life? Are there any that you struggle with right now? Do you practice anything to help you get through the negative reaction you have to it?
The good news is if you struggle with adapting to change, there are ways to help make the transition easier! Many people experience difficulties with it so know you are not alone. You don’t have to stay stuck in the struggle of going through something unfamiliar. I am here to help provide you with some simple tips to make adjusting to change easier than ever before!
Keep reading to find for my 6 tips to help you adjust to change as it happens:
1) Self-Care: Engage in various activities that will bring you happiness. Oftentimes, when the change or transition occurs we are so caught up in taking care of everyone else (or we are wrapped up in trying to make the transition occur as smoothly as possible) that we forget to make time for ourselves.
Read a good book, exercise, watch your favorite movie that gives you a good belly laugh, SLEEP. Do something, anything, regularly that brings you happiness. The goal is to take time out for yourself in order to just simply relax and recharge. This can help with combating the stress, anxiety and negative emotions you may feel.
2) Understand, normalize and validate your emotions: Change can bring up a variety of emotions. It is important to understand that those feelings are normal! As stated before, change is inevitable whether we expect it or not. Everyone experiences things differently and that is okay.
It is normal to feel scared, unsure/uncertain, doubtful, etc. when there is a major transition occurring in your life. Just remember that you do not always have to feel that way! As long as you make an active effort to process your emotions you are one step closer to positively adjusting.
3) Reach out for support: A good support system is essential in adjusting to ANY change. One of the most common feelings that people experience when going through change is loneliness. They may feel as if no one understands how hard the adjustment is for them or may feel that they cannot share how it has impacted them or may even experience a sense of guilt and not wanting to burden others with their concerns.
I encourage you to SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. You don’t have to struggle in isolation. In fact, many of your loved ones would likely want to help you in any way they can. It is important to lean on the people in your life as you adjust to change. Think of them as your team. Teammates are there to support one another!
4) Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms: Avoiding or limiting your usage of alcohol, substances, nicotine and/or caffeine is essential due to the fact that there is a possibility you can become dependent on them. Engaging in more positive coping mechanisms is a healthier way to work through life’s transitions and there are more life-long positive results that can be obtained from it.
5) Stress management techniques: Practice decreasing your stress through techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, mindfulness and meditation! These techniques help you to focus and center yourself into a more tranquil state and decrease any anxiety you may be feeling. Engage in these techniques as often as possible for more long lasting results!
6) Reflect & Shift your focus: Look back and reflect on various other times in your life when you went through an expected (or unexpected) change and were able to successfully adjust! You can do it again!
Also, focus on the positives obtained from the change. Oftentimes we get caught up in the change/transition itself and forget to think of all the things we may gain from it!
Think of it as a caterpillar morphing into a butterfly. Something beautiful may come out of this transition and you won’t remain in this state forever!
So, now that we’ve identified some great tips to con
quer dealing with change, I hope this helps you when unexpected transitions in life happen.
While you cannot always prevent change from happening in your life, you can prevent how you react to it.
IF you find yourself struggling on how to process any difficult change within your life, with family or even a romantic relationship, Solid Foundations can help! Learn more at solidfoundationstherapy.com or give us a call at 630-633-8532 today!