Life transitions and major changes can be really stressful to deal with. Transitions occur multiple times throughout life and can include challenges such as a relationship breakdown, divorce, starting a new job, moving home, health issues, loss of a loved one or significant financial loss or gain to name a few. Whilst they can be tough to experience and navigate, there are things you can do to make it easier. So without further ado, here are our tips for getting through them.
Firstly, it can help if you view the transition as a challenge or opportunity rather than a completely negative experience. For example, if you’re moving house, think about how exciting it will be to decorate a new space. Psychologist Michael Mantell said, “There is no such thing as a positive or negative transition; it fully depends on the way you think.” – it’s all about perspective! In fact, change is really good for your brain. Studies have shown that if you do the same thing for too long, it can actually be detrimental to your cognitive growth. A change in your routine can be a stimulation to your nervous systems and can allow you to grow new neural pathways.
It’s important to also recall other transitions that you’ve successfully navigated through before. If you’re really struggling, remember that you have dealt with other challenges before, and use this knowledge to give you strength. Also, think about how your current experience will soon become more proof that you can handle tough situations!
Your support network is also essential during a life transition. Research shows that social support is one of the most important factors in order to successfully manage change. If you feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to, find an online community of people who are experiencing similar life transitions. They will be able to give you an emotional pick-me-up as well as some handy tips to help you manage.
Another useful tip is to acknowledge your emotions. If you’re feeling angry or sad as a result of a life transition, don’t just bury it in the hope that it will disappear. They need to be dealt with and respected in order to move forward. If you need to take a day to cry on the sofa watching sad films, then go for it – be kind to yourself! It will make you feel a lot better in the long run. You should also make time to simply rest and breathe. If you can delegate some daily tasks, then great – it’s okay to ask for help, especially during this time.
Practice being more present. When you’re going through a difficult transition, you can often find yourself mourning the past or constantly worrying about what the future holds. Try to bring yourself back to the present whenever you catch yourself doing this. Simply doing things like the laundry, some cooking, reading a book, organising a drawer or talking to a friend can help.
Finally, accept that life doesn’t come without change. And frankly, you wouldn’t want it to – it would be very boring it did. You may not be enjoying the change right now, but you will come out of it stronger.
If you’re struggling with a challenging life transition, or simply want to protect your mental health, get in touch with Dalton Wise today.
Check out last weeks’ Wellness Wednesday on confidence and self-esteem HERE