5 Strategies to Get Through a Big Life Change
Has something big in your life suddenly shifted? Maybe you are changing jobs? Altering your lifestyle? Trying to quit old habits? If this is where you are right now, I understand.
Change is a challenge for all of us.
It rips us from the safety of what is comfortable, and pushes us into unfamiliar territory. You can’t be sure of what’s coming next, and this brings the mind and the body into cycles of anxiety and self-doubt. If you need support during this time, I am going to reveal 5 strategies you can use to find comfort and clarity during this uncertain period of your life.
Journal Daily During this Period of Life
When things are uncertain, that is the best time to begin journaling. This will allow you to listen to the worries in your mind (without judgement) and see them develop and reveal themselves to you on the page. This activity is effective because it is a direct channel to your consciousness. It allows you to practice listening and awareness, which may show you some thought patterns that you never realized were there. It doesn’t have to make sense, or be pretty, but just the activity of writing down your thoughts may help you release them and be able to go back to your day with more ease.
If you’re looking for a journal to support you during this phase, you can shop ours here. We have a number of journal prompts and activities on our instagram page if you would like some questions to help you get started.
Try and Practice Mindfulness
You can avoid losing yourself to thoughts of the future filled with “what if’s” by focusing your attention on the present moment. Mindfulness is defined as “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” You can read more about mindfulness here.
Mindfulness can be practiced in really simple ways, and is extremely effective in helping people feel more calm and grounded. You can mindfully make tea and practice enjoying the whole process in full awareness. Thinking about what it smells like, what it tastes like, how the heat feels on your lips.
Another common mindfulness practice is simply looking around you in awareness. What do you see? What is existing, or happening right now in this moment that brings you joy? What is out the window? Take 5 minutes and actually enjoy the space you are in now. It can help remind you of what is truly important.
Take a Self Compassionate Approach
Self compassion at its core means treating yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you would treat a friend with if they are suffering. Kristin Neff, the founder of self-compassion, explains that self-compassion
“means that you honor and accept your humanness. Things will not always go the way you want them to. You will encounter frustrations, losses will occur, you will make mistakes, bump up against your limitations, and fall short of your ideals. This is the human condition, a reality shared by all of us.”
Have you had compassion for yourself through this new shift in your reality? Or are you being hard on yourself for not doing enough? Or not trying more? Not working harder?
If you haven’t been showing yourself compassion, now is the time to start. It’s as simple as shifting your mindset. If you find yourself being harsh and unkind toward yourself, take a couple of clearing breaths, and think “how can I be kinder and more compassionate towards my feelings at this moment?”.
Oftentimes just asking that question will bring about the answers you need.
Know That This Too Shall Pass
One of the hardest parts about going through a big life change is not knowing when it’s going to be over. There is so much uncertainty. But what if you look back to other uncertain times in your life? What does that tell you?
For me, it’s a reminder that the path will reveal itself to you, and you just need to trust in the process.
Remind yourself that this isn’t permanent.
This feeling of stress will pass. This anxiety will pass. This moment and phase in your life will pass. So when you are feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself that this won't last forever, and go back to having compassion for this version of yourself.
Make A Plan of Action
I’m putting this last because you can’t always plan away feelings of uncertainty. But having structure in place can help you feel some semblance of normality. I’d recommend setting some daily routines - it could be a morning ritual, or evening wind down time. Maybe a daily slot of time to tackle your newest venture or apply for jobs? Anything that is steady, and constant. I would include some of the previous suggestions in those routines. How can you show yourself compassion? When can you do journaling? Can you make time to practice mindfulness? You don’t have to follow the plan perfectly, but at least you have something to strive toward.
Going through big changes can be easier when you have some supportive strategies to apply in your life. Even if you just do one of them, it can be helpful. We can’t control everything, but we can control how we react and cope during times of change. And as mentioned earlier, this uncertain period of your life will pass.