Let’s start with a few clichés: change is the only constant; nothing in life is guaranteed; change is as good as a holiday; expect the unexpected. We’ve all heard these hundreds of times, and most of us usually nod along earnestly upon hearing them, barely taking in their meaning and almost certainly underestimating their impacts. Some life adjustments are minor, and although we make a big fuss don’t really have an overall impact on our lives, like our favourite T.V. show being cancelled. These make up a part of regular life, and most of us manage to go on without letting them have any notable impact on what we’re doing.
Losing a job, ending a marriage, moving to a new country and having a child are the kinds of changes that are much harder to adapt to, and for most people have a big impact on their current trajectories. Learning how to cope with these changes and not let them negatively take over our lives is important, and mastering these techniques will reassure you as you embark on a new chapter of life. Here are our tips for best managing life changes:
Consider that it may be a blessing in disguise
Another cliché, to be sure, but sometimes change really is a blessing in disguise. Losing your job might be devastating at the time, but what if it throws you out of the rut you were in and forces you to finally pursue your passion? Having to quit your semi-professional sports team after 10 years may feel awful, but what if it opens your eyes to the time you’ve been missing with your kids? Of course, some negative changes don’t end up feeling like a ‘blessing’, but often in hindsight we discover that particular changes weren’t so bad at all. Having this view will certainly help you move forward and stay positive.
Own it, and take some responsibility
Taking charge of a change in circumstance is one of the most empowering ways to get control back. Perhaps it wasn’t your idea to end your marriage, but were you really satisfied within in? Did your actions contribute to it? Can you see why the marriage ending is probably better for you in the long run? By owning the situation, acknowledging your role in it and by not fighting the momentum of it, you’ll better be able to come to peace with what has occurred.
Image of gifts for her courtesy of Roses Only.
Give yourself time to grieve
As much as a positive attitude and forgiving nature can help you deal with personal changes, sometimes you just have to give yourself time to grieve. Take some time for yourself, do things you love, being around kind people and take it slow, just like you would a break up. Don’t feel pressured to adapt immediately to your new situation, just take small steps each day to make the transition, like packing up a few boxes a day from the house you have to sell, applying for a couple of jobs a week or slowly putting together a new dating profile. So often we demand perfection from ourselves, but try to treat yourself how you would a friend going through a similar situation.
Don’t get too attached
Of course, getting attached to our friends, family, relationships, belongings, careers and everything else that makes us who we are, is almost inevitable, but there are ways to … When it comes to relationships, unfortunately getting the most out of them requires complete commitment, but a career need not demand the same. Commit to a career, be a good employee and make plans for the future, but always keep an eye on the job market, what a competing company is doing, what kind of business you might one day start, and a new career that might one day interest you. It’s been said that people in the workforce today change careers (not jobs) up to seven times! Be open to change, be ready to adapt and give yourself options. You’re probably better at it than you think anyway – how many new programs and processes have you had to learn over the last 10 years?!
There’s a time to pick yourself up and move on, a time to be strong and brave, and a time to cry and feel sorry for yourself. Somewhere in all of that, there’s also a time to spoil yourself! Going through something difficult can take a toll physically, financially, emotionally and psychologically, so enjoying some ‘me’ time is really important, and a lot of fun. Rather than spending days binging on junk food and watching bad reality T.V., try something positive like taking a dance class, getting a massage, decorating your house with roses London getting a reservation at a fancy restaurant for you and a friend, or checking out your local theatre. Do something that’s positive and makes you happy, particularly if your new situation leaves you with lots of time. Catching up with the people that love and support you most like friends and family is also a must.
Be sensitive to others experiencing major changes
Knowing how to cope with major life changes should give you all the tools required to be supportive and understanding of friends and family going through something similar. Consider how unstable, distressed and embarrassed they might be feeling, and remember that everyone handles these situations differently. The best thing you can do is check in regularly, send them well wishes with a gift from your local florist, lend an ear to listen and a shoulder for crying.