10 Ways To Cope With Change
Change is scary yet inevitable.
We all go through periods of transition in our lives, whether it’s moving to a new city, quitting a job, going through heartbreak, or experiencing an illness or injury. These times can spark feelings of anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty, which can make moving forward an extremely difficult task.
Although it isn’t easy, there are ways to deal with these changes so that you can move forward and prosper. Before getting into the post, I want to give a quick disclaimer that I am not a professional and can not promise my advice will help you. I am simply providing tips based on what I’ve found to work for me during my own experiences.
If you are currently going through a period of change, or have ever overcome one, feel free to ask questions or share experiences/advice in the comments below.
feel your emotions
The most important step in healing from any pain is allowing yourself to feel that pain in the first place. Many people feel the need to hold in their emotions or even suppress them with things like food, alcohol, or drugs. Instead of doing this, give yourself time let it all out. There is no specific amount of time that you are supposed to take. For some people this period could last a few days and for others a couple weeks. Regardless, in order to successfully move on, you have to surrender to any emotions that come from the change you’re experiencing.
express your thoughts
Although sometimes it can be hard to open up, it is vital that you are letting out your thoughts in some form. Talking to a friend or family member is the best way to do this, but it is additionally helpful to write your feelings down. If you’re artistic in any way (e.g. play an instrument, write music, draw, paint) consider taking your experience and making art out of it. By creating something beautiful, you are gaining a positive outcome from a negative situation.
change your mindset
One thing people often forget is that it’s impossible to heal if you don’t truly want to. It is easy to dwell on the past and replay scenarios in your mind, but the real healing happens when you learn to actively block out those negative thoughts. When you feel a negative thought beginning to form, try breathing in the thought, then breathing out and releasing it into the world. Follow that by replacing it with a new positive thought.
pick up a hobby
Even if you don’t have anything specific you’re good at, you can still always find something new to learn. Dedicating as little as an hour a week can help you develop new skills, take time for yourself, and temporarily distract you from the outside world. For me, this activity is music, but you can feel free to draw, find a workout class, join a group, or learn to knit.
Practicing some old-fashioned self-care is one of the best ways to deal with stressful changes. Taking time out of each day to do something nice for yourself is not only something you should always do, but also something that can make a huge difference when your body is under more pressure than usual. Self-care doesn’t always need to be complicated, and can mean anything from going to sleep early, taking a warm bath, cooking yourself a good meal, or taking a walk. Learn more self-care techniques here
6. take control
The worst part about change is that often, it is out of your control entirely. In order to deal with this, you must actively remember the things in your life you do have control over. This might mean making the extra effort at school or work, taking the time to cook yourself healthy meals, learning how to budget better, or even changing up your style. This helps balance out any loss of control you might be experiencing.
7. limit social media
Social media can be helpful a lot of the time, but also exposes you to many negative things as well. Despite what you are struggling with, being on social media always comes with the risk of reminding you of something negative or triggering. With that said, try to monitor how often you are checking your accounts, and unfollow any accounts that might be upsetting for you.
8. be present
As I mentioned before, dwelling on the past is nothing but detrimental for your progress. This is why in order to heal and move forward, you must focus on each day as they occur. Don’t think about the long road ahead, or the struggles you might face in X amount of time. Instead, live in the now and try to focus only on the present day as it happens.
9. trust the universe
I first want to say that I don’t always believe “everything happens for a reason", because sometimes bad things happen to good people and it doesn’t make sense. However, when it comes to other struggles in life, I often refer to this as my mantra. It has always been helpful for me to remember that every event (good or bad) is meant to lead me to where I’m supposed to end up. Although life is hard and unfair, try to have faith in the process and trust the journey.
10. practice mindfulness
When it comes to facing hardships, I believe that practicing mindfulness is the key to healing. This might mean journaling, practicing yoga or meditation, reading self-help books, or even briefly noting your thoughts. Being mindful is not something that happens overnight, but with practice, it can help you become closer to yourself and understand how you operate. As you gain more experience with this, you will become better and better at knowing how to handle yourself in tough situations.