There is one thing that is constant and inevitable in life, and that is change. These changes can be small but every now and again; they are major changes such as marriage, divorce, loss of a loved one, a new job, having children, going back to school, or buying a house. These transitions can uproot your world, can catch you off guard and can take their toll on your mental health. Even the really positive changes can take their toll, so it's important to know how to cope with life's big changes:
Acknowledge The Changes
Don't fight the change as this way you will only put off dealing with it. Denial is a powerful force, and it protects us in many ways. However, accepting that things are changing and dealing with it is far less stressful.
Work Out How Much You Can Control
When a big change occurs, it's important to figure out how much control over the situation you have. Some changes will be because of your own choice, so, for example, you can make sure you have covered everything to consider before a career change, or if you are moving home, there are checklists and other preparations you can make to make the whole thing easier.
Remember That Stress Can Come From Good Change
Sometimes when people go through a good life change, such as graduating or having a baby, they still feel a great deal of stress. Remember that positive change can create stress as stress is your body's way of reacting to change, so it's okay to feel stressed.
Keep Up With Your Regular Schedule
It is important to stick to your regular schedule as much as possible. Having some things that stay the same, like walking the dog every morning, gives you an anchor and a reminder that some things are still the same, and it gives your brain a little bit of a rest.
Try To Eat Healthily.
When change happens, it's common to reach for carbs, the bread, muffins, cake, etc. This may be because eating carbs boosts serotonin—a brain chemical that may be somewhat depleted when you are undergoing change. It's okay to soothe yourself with comfort foods, but just make sure that it is in moderation.
Exercising two to three times a week has been found to decrease symptoms of depression significantly and even just going for a short walk can help you feel better in times of change. While it can be hard to get the motivation or to find the time, try to just get outside for ten minutes a day, and you will start to notice the benefits. Your head will be clearer, your decisions will be easier, and your stress levels will be less.
Remember that it's okay to ask for help. No matter what is going on, chances are a friend, or family member has been through the same or something similar or just from an outsider's point of view, they might be able to offer you some sound advice.