The ups and downs of life are inevitable. And both positive and negative life changes can impact your mental health. They can leave you feeling as though you need to come up for air — as if someone keeps pushing your head back under the water, letting the waves of overwhelm pass over you.
At the same time, there is opportunity in big life changes. They can make you stronger, help you come to realizations, guide you to learn invaluable lessons, and much more. However, they can be tough. And that’s why this article is all about offering you a helping hand to get through any change you might be facing.
From losing someone you love to moving cities, life changes come in all shapes and sizes. So, let’s dig in. How can you adjust and cope?
Many people will tell you to embrace the change or maybe get used to it. And if you can, great! Yet, depending on the context, this isn’t always appropriate or easy. Thus, this is where coping comes into play. When you turn to coping with change, your mental health improves and you actually become more resilient all-around.
So, what does “coping” look like? How can you deal with this new change in your life?
Denial is the first stage of grief. Similarly, when anything drastic changes in life, our gut instinct might be to deny that it’s even happening. However, this can end up with you stuck in limbo-land, as well as in a resistant state.
In this state, you never move forward. Yet, by facing what is happening head-on, accepting it, seeing it, and taking it all in, you can take those steps forward. It’s never easy, but it gets easier when you acknowledge and accept what is happening.
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While it’s easy to drift off from your regular routine, this actually isn’t very helpful for you or anyone else. In fact, the second you stop taking care of yourself is the moment you lose control. So, keep what you can within your control. This is your routine!
During big life changes, things such as getting up at the same time each day, working out on your regular schedule, and more provide anchors, rooting us to reality and helping us process whatever might be happening in our life.
During stressful times, your body needs nutrition more than ever. And unfortunately, that carb-loaded muffin likely isn’t going to cut it for breakfast and lunch. Plus, eating poorly could potentially make things worse, such as causing your mood to significantly decline.
Keep up your energy levels and take care of yourself by nourishing your body! Choose whole foods over processed foods. Make sure you eat on a regular schedule. You’ll feel that much better and able to cope when you do.
As you might already know… Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make us feel good and also help the body deal with stress and pain.
In fact, exercise is shown to decrease depression symptoms. So, while you might not feel like it, moving could be one of the best things for you! Even a little bit of movement can work wonders.
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to have a mental disorder or illness to seek out therapy. In fact, most people would greatly benefit from therapy sessions.
Think of it like this: When you want to get back in shape but don’t know how, you hire a trainer. When you want to nail down your diet, you hire a nutritionist. Same goes for your mental health. When you want to get your mental health back on track, you hire a therapist.
There’s no shame here! More and more people are turning to the pros to help them get through tough times.
When we are emotionally-spent, we automatically become very reactive. However, this usually doesn’t serve us or those around us. In fact, it typically does quite the opposite.
Instead, look at your list of tasks.
Do those things! Prioritize them. You’ll not only feel productive but also be productive, as opposed to spending time on tasks that are merely you avoiding the problem.
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This often depends on the type of life change you’re going through. Generally though, experts seem to agree that it takes about three to eighteen months to get through a big life change, whether the adjustment was positive or negative.
There are also all kinds of life changes. Maybe you’re unsure if the change in your life is actually a big deal. The truth is if you’re feeling like it’s a big deal, it probably is. But to help you figure it out and what you need to do next, here are a few major life change examples:
When it comes to a change in your life, turning to phrases that resonate with you can also serve as an anchor, helping you navigate through it. With that in mind, here are 5 life changing quotes that might help you during this difficult time:
“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” - John C. Maxwell
“Change your thinking, change your life.” - Ernest Holmes
“Nothing is forever, except change.” - Buddha
“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy.” - C. JoyBell C.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” - Steve Maraboli
When you change your life, you might face feelings and emotions you weren’t initially expecting and that’s okay. Or if your life changed out of your control, focus on what you can control and learn to accept what has happened.
Coping with life changes and transitions is difficult but not impossible. Using the above tips and quotes to help you navigate through them can make this time that much easier and help you make your life what you want it to be. Life is tough, but you’re tougher!
May 25, 2022