5 ways to balance major life changes – good or bad.
Major life changes shift you off balance. Painful events, like a job loss, death in the family, or the end of a relationship, create deep feelings of loss. They also cause fear and uncertainty because your brain doesn’t like any changes – good or bad. That’s why joyful events like bringing home a new baby, starting a job, or getting married can also make life feel different and unfamiliar.
1. Give yourself time to accept the change.
Life changes, both good and bad, take time to process, and that’s okay. Time is necessary. Your brain needs a chance to ease out of protective mode, learn, and adapt to your new circumstances.1
2. Acknowledge the change and your feelings.
Whether it was unexpected or you knew it was coming, it is essential to acknowledge the change and your feelings. It helps to talk with someone you trust or seek professional care. If you feel overwhelmed, talk therapy can help you successfully navigate life changes.
3. Give yourself regular mental health checkups.
Checking in with your feelings helps you assess your mental health. Ask yourself the kinds of questions you’d ask a loved one if you saw them struggling, like these:
- Is my mood different now?
- Am I taking care of my body with healthy food and enough sleep?
- What is one thing I can do today that brings me happiness?
- Do I need to talk with someone?
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4. Carve out a path forward.
Planning, lists, action items, and goals help you – and your brain – feel more in control and adapt to significant life changes. An MDLIVE licensed therapist can help you create a plan if you need guidance. Schedule a time that works for you.
5. Finally, give yourself a break from processing significant changes.
Using creative outlets to process your feelings gives your brain a much-needed break. Here are some ideas:
- Try new things like a recipe, hobby, or exercise class.
- Go for a walk outdoors to enjoy nature.
- Connect with a friend or family member and try a new activity together.
- Practice mindfulness and other strategies to reframe your thinking, like these 5 ways to be more optimistic.
Posted date: April 19, 2022