Significant life changes, such as losing a job, moving home, the death of a loved one, or anything else that dramatically affects your life and routine, can be challenging. Recently, life has changed for many of us, whether having to adapt to working from home or losing your job. There is also the fear of getting the virus or losing someone close to us. There is no easy way to deal with these changes, but there are some coping strategies.
Talking to someone
It’s important to talk to someone if you’re struggling to cope with a major life change. If you have friends and family you can trust and who can help, that’s good. If the people you rely on for support are also affected by the same change or other personal changes in their lives, it can be more difficult to talk to them about your problems. You’ll also want to support them as much as you can. However, talking to a professional is just as important. You can use Relief Seeker to find the best online therapist for your needs. A therapist can listen to your concerns, and some people find it easier, for many reasons, to be more honest with a stranger.
Taking time to adjust
Whether you’re getting used to having more time and less money after losing your job or finding your way around a new area after you have moved to another house, adjusting to such a change will take time. The length of time it takes is different for everyone. So, take as much time as you need to deal with major changes in your life. Rushing yourself may do more harm than good. What works for one person may not work for someone else.
Doing what you enjoy
If you take some time to do some of the things you enjoyed before your life was changed, it can be a positive step that will help you to cope. Finding enjoyment in something familiar is a great reminder that not everything has changed, even if some things are different now. If you’ve lost a loved one, it will be hard to do things that you both enjoyed doing together, but it can be a positive way of remembering them. Or if you’ve lost your job, going to a gym class you previously enjoyed may no longer be affordable, but working out at home or going for a walk or a run with friends can be the next best thing.
Making time for yourself
If you’re not the only one affected by the change, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. After losing a family member, it’s natural you’ll want to help and support the rest of your family through the loss. Or, if you find you’re now working at home, you could be working harder than ever trying not to get in the way of family members who are used to having the house to themselves. Or, if you’ve lost your job, you could be feeling like you have to be supportive of former colleagues if the effects of their job loss are harder on them. However, it’s essential for your well-being and mental health to take time to adapt, making the transition easier for yourself. Although others might be in a worse situation or need you to support them, you can’t compare yourself to them and will be little use to them if you don’t first take time for yourself.
Trying to find the positives
Sometimes there is not a positive side to a significant life change. Often though, there will be something, however small. The positive may not outweigh the downsides of the change; however, most major life changes don’t happen by choice. So by making the best of a bad situation and finding something positive will help you to cope. You might discover new places to meet people in a new area or have more time to yourself in lockdown and take up a new hobby or project. Taking up voluntary work in a different sector and gaining experience could help to change your career. There are many ways to cope with life changes and make the best of them.
Significant life changes are always a challenge. However, it’s important to remember you’re not the only one who has gone through whatever you happen to be dealing with, and you will get through it.