Over the last year there have been some very big changes in my life and those changes haven’t always been easy.
Some have been forced on me and others have been voluntary. After dealing with my depression and self destructive behavior I had to make some big changes in my life.
Coming out of a relationship, changing scenes and going away sailing, moving away from the city and finally moving to the UK have all been significant changes in my life. It’s been an overwhelming past 12 months and things don’t look like they are going to settle down for a while.
Despite all the things that have been going on I am actually a person who thrives routine and avoids change where I can, so the last twelve months have been challenging both for managing my emotional and my physical state.
Throughout it all there are some strategies that I have found work for me when it comes to coping with the big changes in life and I thought it would help for me to share some of them with you.
– Don’t do it alone.
Use your support network. Friends and family are an important support when you are going through a change. A lot of the time we isolate ourselves especially when the change is brought on by something painful. Being able to talk about what’s going on and unload some of the stress can help a lot. Remember keeping things bottled up inside will start to effect your health too.
Friends can also help you adjust to new places, find accommodation and provide you with the local knowledge you need to smooth over a difficult transition. Sharing experiences with them might also help you gain new insights in to the changes going on in your own life, a burden shared is a burden halved.
– Keep healthy and fit.
Our bodies react to stress in different ways but often when I am going through big changes in my life and I am under stress I get sick. This move to the UK has been the perfect example. Not only was I tired from packing and all the last minute running around but I was also stressed about the challenges of remaking my life yet again and being so far from home and my family. The result was that this stress manifested itself as a cold. Make sure you sleep, eat well and don’t push yourself too hard. Give yourself time to rest and relax both your body and your mind, whether it’s the gym, meditation or laying on your bed with your headphones in take time out.
– Focus on the baby steps.
When change becomes overwhelming it’s easy to say “fuck it” and go hide under your covers. Sometimes there is a lot to get done, so much in fact that it can seem like a mountain and you won’t know where to start. Begin by focussing on the baby steps. Chip away at the small things and before you know it you’ll be crossing things off your list and growing in confidence.
– Pack Light.
Whether it’s emotional baggage or actual baggage change means a new start and a new opportunity to remake things the way you want them to be. Draw a line in the sand and say to yourself this is my new beginning. Leave old clothes and old grudges behind.
– Remember to always look forward.
When things are a little bit rough or tough I always try to make sure that I don’t slip back in to my old habit of thinking about the “good old times”. When change is in the air we will seek out things that feel familiar to restore a sense of stability or comfort to our lives. There is nothing wrong with doing this, but be careful not to let it stop you from moving forward. Remember change is a good thing, growth always happens on the edge of our experience, embrace the new.