How To Cope With Life Changes And Transitions
When you go through a major life transition or change, you may feel overwhelmed. The life change may be happy, like a marriage or the birth of a child, or sad, like the death of a family member. No matter if it's happy or unhappy, you may feel as though you need help coping with the transition. Here are some ways you can cope with a life transition:
1. Lean On Your Support Group
If you have a good support group, whether it's friends, family, or an actual support group, take advantage of it. Talk about your feelings and concerns. Other people can offer a different perspective or ways to manage your stress. However, do keep in mind that you can exhaust your support group if you spend too much time venting or complaining. Even people close to you need a break to recharge.
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind right now, but it can help. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise releases endorphins, helps get your mind off of things, helps you sleep, and reduces anxiety and depression. If you're just starting an exercise routine, start off easy with low-impact exercises like swimming or walking. As you get in the routine, you can increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
3. Make Lists
Lists are a great way to organize your thoughts and help you put the situation in perspective. Write at least three lists. Write down all the life changes you've already been through. This will help you understand that change is part of life, and you can get through this since you've survived other life changes. Next, make a list of positive outcomes of the life transition you're going through. For example, if a loved one passed away from cancer, a positive outcome may be that their suffering is over. Finally, make a list of all the things that you're grateful for.
4. Seek Life Transition Counseling
It's tough to admit that you need help. But if you've tried everything you can and nothing's helping, there's no shame in seeking a professional's advice. A life transition therapist is a specialist that helps you cope with and adapt to changes. Counseling may be especially beneficial if you're going through a positive change like retirement or the birth of a new baby. You may hesitate to speak about your worries and stress with friends or family out of fear of sounding "ridiculous" or "whiny." A therapist will listen to you without judgment, so don't hesitate to make an appointment.
Everyone goes through life transitions, and it's important to cope with these changes. With the right strategies and tools, you can make it through your transition and deal with stress.