Dealing with Change & Transitions
Change can often be good or bad. Change can make you feel happy or sad. And change can happen fast or gradually. Life’s changes and transitions can affect people in many different ways and can arise from different personal, financial, and environmental factors. Whether you are graduating soon, moving away from family, or starting a new job, here are some helpful ways that you can cope with major transitions.
1. Take care of your health and wellbeing
When going through a transition in life, it is very important to take care of your health so that your body is mentally and physically ready to tackle this change. Try to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. And know that it’s okay to have some days in which you don’t feel your best.
2. Accept rather than resist change
Changes in life can oftentimes arise from things that are out of your control. So try not to blame yourself or resist change, but instead reflect and learn from this situation. This will ease your stress and anxiety while you gain insight about how you can overcome this and future challenges. Remember that in life, things come and go, people grow, and you can win and lose. This transition will become an important part of your life, so give yourself the time you need to take it all in.
3. Utilize your support system
Maintaining your social relationships will help you navigate change and transitions. Talk to your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors. Having someone there to listen to you will give you an emotional boost and you could potentially gain some useful tips.
4. Appreciate the benefits this change
It’s very easy to focus on the negative impacts associated with change. But spending too much time on this will increase your stress and anxiety. Try to appreciate the positives and how they can benefit you in the long-term. You’ll soon find things that you can look forward to and possibly be thankful for when looking back at this change.
5. Recognize your past accomplishments
If you’re having trouble overcoming a new hardship, use the knowledge you’ve gained in past experiences and apply it to the current circumstances. Look back at how you managed to cope with changes and focus on these strengths. Most importantly, remember that you have been through changes before and you have accomplished so much in life that has made you the person you are now. Be proud of your growth and know that you can overcome this too.
6. Plan ahead
Try to get things in order before planning a major transition so that you can ensure things will work out in the end. Try to think about what obstacles could arise and how you can overcome them. Make sure to create some time for yourself and others. Think about new routines and schedule some new or past hobbies that could help you cope with any stress. Having a solid plan made for the transition will ease the physical and psychological strain associated with it.
7. Try not to compare yourself with others
There will always be people who seem to be more successful than others or overcome challenges with ease. But everybody’s background and past is very different. Everyone is unique and there is no perfect way to deal with change. Try to connect with those close to you and express how you are feeling. You may be surprised that you are not alone. Remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on your accomplishments and be proud of how far you have come.
8. Give it time
Lastly, this transition won’t be permanent. Things will get better and time will heal. Soon enough, you will be looking back at this as a time of growth and renewal.
I hope that these tips are helpful for you. It’s important not to be so hard on yourself and to take care of your wellbeing during life’s transitions. Time will heal and you may soon look back and thank yourself for focusing on the positives. Whatever change life may be throwing at you, know that it won’t be permanent and you will overcome it.
- Jose, Mental Health Peer
Mental Health Peers
We are the mental Health Peers from UCSB Counseling and Psychological services.