Dealing with change isn't always easy. It can be uncomfortable, stressful or even scary at times. But the good news is, there are things you can do to make coping with life changes a little easier.
1. Recognise the worst
Understanding a change is the important first step to managing it. We're usually scared of change because we’re afraid of the unknown. Try to figure out if the worst that can happen is actually as bad as what you think can happen? Learning about the details of the change can help things feel easier. Remember how scary the idea of starting high school or learning to drive once was? Sometimes it's not as bad as it may seem at first, and it just takes a little time to get used to.
2. Ask yourself how much you can control
When a big change happens, figure out how if it's something you have control over, and how much control you have. Understanding your role and how much you can change, can sometimes help you to put things in perspective. For example, if you've just moved out of home, there are many things you can do to make it an easier process. Other changes like unexpected sickness are harder to control.
3. Celebrate the positives
Focusing on the positives can help you feel better about the change overall. They might not be completely obvious to begin with, and it might also take some time, but it’s worth it. For example, if you’ve moved recently, you might be away from your friends, but it's also a great way to learn how to be more independent. In time, you might also find a new group of friends to keep you company.
4. Take action
If the unwanted change is within your control, taking an active approach to coping has been shown to be useful. Try engaging in problem solving or goal setting to proactively address unwanted developments. Focusing on the problem at hand, developing a plan of action, and asking for advice are useful active strategies.
5. Accept and reframe
If the unwanted change is beyond your control, taking a reflective approach may be the way to go. Accepting that there are things beyond your control and choosing to be comfortable with this is likely to bring greater calm than playing the blame game or waging unwinnable wars. Viewing change as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a setback, might also help you to turn that frown upside down!
6. Manage your stress
Improving your ability to handle stress will go a long way to helping you deal with change. Try practicing mindfulness or meditation, or engaging in other relaxation techniques.
7. Seek support
Changes come in all different sizes. It’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed if there is too much happening at once. This is when your best approach is to start by seeking support. Consider talking to friends or family for advice or emotional support, or by investigating options for professional help. Whether you’re coping with a Game of Thrones season ending or dealing with something more serious, there are always others in similar situations, and professionals available to help!