Coping with Life Changes and Transitions

Written by: Ankita Kathad – MA
(Clinical Psychology)

Last updated date : August 16, 2022

Table of Contents Article title – Managing irritable bowel syndrome
  1. Why Is Change Hard?
  2. Coping with Life Changes and Transitions
  3. Endnote

Change is an essential part of life. It is the law of the universe. Nothing remains permanent. Even our bodies change. We are changing every day and every single moment. Change can be positive or negative. Sometimes, it is desirable and sometimes it is not. As much as we want something to remain the same, it never really does. Change can be overwhelming sometimes. In this article, we understand what change and transitions are. We explore ways of coping with life changes and transitions.

Table of Contents Article title – Managing irritable bowel syndrome
  1. Why Is Change Hard?
  2. Coping with Life Changes and Transitions
  3. Endnote

Change is an essential part of life. It is the law of the universe. Nothing remains permanent. Even our bodies change. We are changing every day and every single moment. Change can be positive or negative. Sometimes, it is desirable and sometimes it is not. As much as we want something to remain the same, it never really does. Change can be overwhelming sometimes. In this article, we understand what change and transitions are. We explore ways of coping with life changes and transitions.

Why Is Change Hard?

A transition is an event that leads to adjustments or shifts from the current situation. It impacts the life of a person in a significant way. Transitions in life can be exciting or distressing. It can bring happiness or sadness. In any case, they are challenging. Here’s why:

  1. Any type of change involves a shift from the old to the new. It requires shifting to a new routine. Even a good change will involve a shift. For example, a person who is retiring will have to go from a busy routine to a new relaxed routine. When a child goes from school to college, they may have to shift cities. It takes effort to change into this new routine. Moreover, the process of adjusting to a new routine will take time and more effort.
  2. Any type of change involves stress. The stress can be positive called eustress or it can be negative. Sometimes, prolonged stress can make it difficult to navigate through transitions.
  3. Unexpected outcomes and uncertainties of the future can make a change look scary. It can make us nervous. Moreover, we may wonder what the future will look like after the transition. Furthermore, some changes are completely unexpected. The outcomes can be devastating at times. For instance, an accident can bring a change that can be very painful to deal with.

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Coping with Life Changes and Transitions

Change is an inevitable process. Therefore the only way to deal with change is to learn effective ways of handling it. Here are some ways of coping with life changes and transitions.

Acceptance

Coping with life changes and transitions in life involves acknowledging the change. It involves understanding that things are changing and accepting it. A lot of times people tend to run away or hide from change. This can make the process of change stressful. Facing the transition, sitting with it for a while, and understanding what is needed to cope with can help in dealing with it.

Maintain a routine

Change can be a period of chaos at times. A routine can help things fall into order. Additionally, a routine can make you feel better when everything seems overwhelming. Moreover, a routine can help you adjust to the new events in life. You can create reminders as well. Consider making a to-do list or a chart to navigate through this new change. You can create morning and evening routines. Add grounding exercises like meditation or self-care.

Seek help

A change or transition can involve shifts from the usual. Sometimes they can be too tiring. For instance, shifting to a new place can be a humungous task. Therefore, more hands can make the work easier. Seek help from friends and family to help you change from one place to the other. Similarly, if the emotional pain of an unexpected change is too much, try to talk it out. Reach out for support.

Watch Out for Your Health

Often people forget to look after their health when going through a transition. Therefore many people end up falling sick after a transition. A change also requires a lot of physical and mental effort. Therefore take good care of your health. Don’t skip meals or sleep. Take rest and relax whenever possible. It is difficult to find time for these activities but they are indeed important. If you are moving to a new city for college, make sure you are eating healthy and sleeping well. Bad health lowers motivation to cope with change. Additionally, when we sleep less, we can get more tired. This makes coping with life changes and transitions more difficult.

Pursue a Hobby

In order to cope with changes and transitions in life, pursue a hobby that makes you feel good. As discussed earlier, change can bring stress. This stress can be combated when we have other ways to distract ourselves for some time at least. Doing something that makes you feel good gives you more energy to cope with transitions in life. Additionally, it helps us take a break from the emotional impact of the change.

Take Charge

This involves taking an active role in the process of change. This means that you accept and acknowledge change and take steps to manage the new events of life. This can involve moving on after a breakup or getting out of bed and exploring the city if you have moved into a new place. Additionally, you can be proactive which means preparing before a change. This involves making arrangements for stay and food in the new city. This can involve pre-planning before retirement.

SMART goals

Set small, manageable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound goals. This strategy will help you so that you don’t get overburdened in the process of change. Moreover, when you achieve these targets which are realistic, you will feel good about yourself. For instance, if you have changed jobs, you can create SMART goals for the new job profile. This will make sure that you don’t beat yourself up for not achieving unrealistic goals.

Take a Break!

The process of change can be tiring. Be it going through a big life transition such as becoming a parent or a simple change such as joining a new gym. Any type of change will require effort. For some, the change can be easy and for some, it can be difficult. There are people who can handle crises well and some can get overwhelmed. However, all of us experience change from time to time and we know how tiresome it can get. We can face burnout if we overwork and this can make matters worse. Therefore it is important to take breaks from time to time to improve the ability to cope with life changes and transitions. Take a short vacation or go out for a dinner. Even a short evening walk daily can serve the purpose of a break. Do anything that helps you relax.

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Endnote

Life changes and transitions can be a challenge. We all need to face them in our lives. while some people can handle it effectively, others can find change stressful. In addition to this, they can get anxious whenever there is a transition. For some, it can lead to low self-esteem or anxiety. Stress makes it even hard to deal with a change. Sometimes anxiety and stress about a transition can lead to burnout. If you or your loved ones are going through a change or transition in life, which is causing low self-esteem or social anxiety, Epsychonline can help you. Courses such as DBT for social anxiety and low self-esteem can be helpful. Additionally, there are articles that talk about various types of changes and transitions in life. Do check them out.

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