Change can produce tremendous growth in us, but the season of stretching is often painful. Sometimes the changes are rooted in something positive, like the birth of a child, a home purchase, a planned retirement, or a child going away to college or getting married. Other times the change is not a happy one, like a divorce, layoff, or loss of a loved one.
Whatever the cause, transition is hard—but there are ways to survive the changes and thrive in a new season of life. Take a look at these six tips to help you manage a major life transition.
1. Gain Strength from Past Success
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and wondering how you’ll ever make it through this change, think of difficult transitions you’ve navigated in the past. Even if it wasn’t pretty, you made it through that season somehow, so you can make it through this one, too. By remembering the past, you can fuel your confidence for the present.
2. Take Action (When Possible)
While you can’t prepare for every eventuality, there are steps you can take to make some transitions more manageable. So make the packing list, call the caterer, and update the resume. Getting your house in order—literally and figuratively—before a planned transition can help you manage the life change with minimal devastation and ease the strain of transition. Try to make the change as easy on yourself as you can by preparing for it as best as you can.
3. Establish a Routine
The stress of transition can make you neglect regular routines, but that’s when you need them the most. Make sure you’re eating right, staying hydrated, and getting some exercise, even if it’s just a quick walk outside. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night, with a consistent bedtime and wake time. Take time for prayer, meditation, or another centering practice. A solid routine can facilitate consistency, keeping your body, mind, and spirit healthy as you adjust to the life change.
4. Be Honest
If you’re having a hard time coping, don’t try to hide it from others—or from yourself. Putting your head down and grinding your way through may help the time pass, but repressed emotions tend to rear their head at the least convenient times. To ward off a blowup, identify how you’re feeling about the change, express it, and accept it. Being honest with yourself and others can be incredibly freeing.
5. Seek Support
Not only can friends and family be there for you in the good times, but they can hold you up in the hard times, too. If you need practical help like shopping for supplies, packing boxes, or planning a wedding or funeral, ask your support system to step in. If you need emotional support, trusted allies are there for that, too. Rely on your community for the help you need to navigate the change.
6. Find a Role Model
Your friends and family love you, but it’s possible that they haven’t been where you are. If that’s the case, look for a role model or mentor to inspire you. Connecting with someone who has been through something similar can remind you that you’re not alone and can help you navigate a tough transition. Their example offers reassurance that you can adapt and make it through this. If they did it, you can do it too.
If you’re having a hard time managing a major life transition, mental health treatment programs can provide the support you need. Using techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing, therapists can help you explore healthy coping strategies, and also treat any anxiety, depression, and stress you’re experiencing.
Transitions are hard, and it’s OK to ask for help. Call 866-349-1770 to connect with the caring admissions counselors at Beachside Rehab and learn more about our private mental health treatment programs.