8 Healthy Ways to Cope with Major Life Changes
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8 Healthy Ways to Cope with Major Life Changes

Empowering Yourself: Need Healthy Ways for Life Transitions

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8 Navigating Major Life Changes: Healthy Coping Strategies

Major life changes can include reaching a milestone birthday, getting married; becoming a parent; leaving school; changing jobs/losing jobs; becoming ill or disabled; experiencing a tragedy, or retiring. Big life changes are known to significantly impact our lives. They essentially shake the foundation of who we are and force us to start over. We find ourselves navigating uncharted waters. We may experience trouble adjusting, feelings of hopelessness, mental and physical fatigue, and even agitation and irritation. When experiencing a major life change, it is all too easy to question if we will be able to cope with the change that we are facing. The good news is there are a wide range of healthy ways to navigate these new waters.  

Some Healthy Strategies for Coping with Major Life Changes

1. Understand How Stress Impacts Us

There are numerous ways in which stress can affect our bodies and our health. We all know that pain and nausea can be emotional indications of stress and can impair our immune system. We need to take care of ourselves and recognize when stress is getting out of hand and impacts our physical health. If we can identify the causes of our elevated stress levels, we can try lessening its influence on our bodies and health.

2. Surround Ourselves with Others

When we are experiencing a major life change, it is critical to stay connected with others. This might look like talking to friends, coworkers, or family members. This might also look like talking to a professional such as seeking grief counseling which can help us develop strategies for coping with our loss or grief. Knowing that we are not alone as we face a major life change sometimes can make all the difference. 8 Healthy Ways for Major Life Changes

3. Maintain Routines

When everything around us is changing, we can use our daily routines to create a sense of security. Getting out of bed at the same time every day, eating breakfast, and engaging in regular exercise can all benefit our mental health during times when our lives are less predictable.

4. Reframe the Change

How we think about change may influence how we deal with it. Negative thought patterns can make it difficult to focus on the positive. Studies have found negative self-talk can have a major impact on our mental well-being. When we are experiencing a major life change, we should think about reframing our thoughts. This is a technique that can assist us in shifting our viewpoint to view situations in a more positive way.

5. Sit With Our Feelings  

Whenever we experience life changes, it is easy to lose sight of who we are. Sometimes we experience highly unsettling feelings because we feel that life is throwing us off balance. Putting feelings into words, often referred to as “labeling,” may help diminish the intensity of our negative emotions. Reframing perspectives is another very powerful tool. It helps us take a situation we are struggling with, such as a major life change, and use it to empower ourselves.

6. Sweat It Out

When we exercise, we can better control our emotions and release endorphins. It also helps with our physical fitness, which improves our mood and gives us more energy. Exercise is essential for promoting happy feelings, but if anxiety is an issue for us, it's critical to build a regular activity plan rather than a sporadic one-off workout. According to research, one-off aerobic exercise can cause an acute spike in anxiety, whereas regular aerobic exercise causes a decrease in anxiety levels.

7. Show Ourselves Self-care

Making time for relaxation practices that bring us joy and restoration can make change more manageable. Doing something that is soothing to us is the key. What particular activity soothes us does not matter. We can read a fascinating book, take a hot shower, or go for a run. We might even schedule regular times for these calming activities so we have something to look forward to.

8. Practice gratitude

Whether we have just received terrible news or are super excited about an opportunity coming our way, reminding ourselves of all that we are grateful for can be a helpful way to see past the challenge of change and move into mindfulness. We can consider jotting down our blessings in a journal or telling a loved one all the things that make us feel thankful.

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