Tip Sheet: Coping with Change
The ever-changing Texas weather may not rattle you much, but holding it together in the midst of other life changes isn’t always so easy. Be it a divorce, a job change, the death of a loved one, a change in one’s health, or a new family member, life transitions can cause us to feel off balance, disoriented, fearful and insecure. The following tips can help you traverse the new landscape of your life:
IDENTIFY SOURCES OF SUPPORT. Just knowing you aren’t alone can make the journey a little safer. Seek out a trusted friend or counselor who can respectfully listen and encourage you along the way.
GRIEVE THE LOSSES. All change brings loss. It is hard to embrace the new while clinging to what is familiar. By allowing yourself to feel the pain of loss, you can begin the adjustment process. Strive for a balance between honoring the grief and keeping a foot in your present and future life.
LOOK FOR THE LESSONS & THE GIFTS. Research has shown that searching for meaning in the midst of loss is a beneficial coping skill. Ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” and “How can I make this experience useful?”
STAY OPEN. Though routines and familiar ways provide comfort, some of your prior methods of approaching life may no longer be useful. Resist the tendency to immediately reject a new option or approach. The barrier may be habitual thinking rather than real circumstances.
FORTIFY YOURSELF. Change is stressful and if left unchecked can lead to deteriorating mental and physical health. Be sure to get ample rest, nutrition and exercise. This can also provide comfort by directing energy to things over which you have some control.
Renée Bradford Garcia, LCSW has over 20 years of experience helping people of all ages successfully navigate life changes. To learn more about her services and books visit www.garciareneeb.com.