Small Ways to Deal with Big Changes

February 5, 2020

The birth of a child, the death of a loved one, marriage, divorce, moving homes, switching jobs—life is full of big changes. Dealing with change can be challenging, but there are small things you can do to better adjust to the big changes in your life.

Acknowledge the Change

Putting off, resisting, or denying change is natural—especially when it’s a change we don’t welcome. But these reactions can prevent us from adapting to new circumstances. Simply acknowledging that change is real, and that your life is going through some changes right now, can open the door to allow you to deal with and accept the new reality.

Realize that Stress is Normal

Change can cause us to feel stressed or anxious. This is true whether the change is something we view as positive or negative. While it’s easy to accept that stress is a normal reaction to a new circumstance we don’t want, it can be confusing when you become stressed in reaction to an event you’ve been hoping for. Just realize that stress is a natural reaction when things don’t stay the same, and those feelings will pass as you adjust.

Keep Some Things the Same

When big changes happen, it can be helpful to keep some things consistent. Routine can give you a feeling of safety and security. Whether it’s walking the dog every day, ordering pizza on Fridays, or going to bed at the same time each night, give yourself something consistent to hold on to. Having an anchor can help reduce stress and give you reassurance that things will settle down eventually.

Practice Self-Care

It’s easy to get so caught up in change that you forget to take care of yourself. As tempting as it might be to reach for carbs and sugar when you’re stressed, be sure you eat well, exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep. Make time for favorite hobbies or calming activities as well, to boost your mood and increase feelings of optimism.

Whatever changes are happening in your life, small things like these can make a big difference. Use the power of simple thoughts and actions to help you survive—and even thrive—when a big change comes your way.

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