If there is one certainty in life, it’s that there will be change.
You can’t escape it, no matter how hard you try.
Some changes are bigger than others, such as committing to a life partner, retiring from a job, switching careers, or any number of other significant transitions in life. And even when these transitions are expected, they can still be difficult to confront.
In these instances, it’s helpful to know what to do and how to cope effectively.
If you’re facing a big life change, consider these five strategies for transitioning with grace.
1. Embrace the Change
The first thing that you can do when facing a big life change is to embrace it. You might be tempted to delay or avoid the change. However, that will only postpone the inevitable.
Even when you know the change is occurring, you might be pushing back mentally or emotionally. But instead, embrace the change!
Allow yourself to accept that the change is happening and fully dive into the experience. This might be intimidating or even scary, but you will be better off for it in the long-run.
2. Create Space to Process What’s Happening
Next, create space for yourself to process and fully absorb what’s happening.
For example, you may:
- Practice meditation
- Spend time in nature
- Turn off electronic devices
Creating space to process allows you to focus on what’s happening without distraction. This will actually allow you to be in a better mindset to embrace the change and accepting the experience.
Whereas, when you distract yourself, you actually wind up being less prepared and mentally ready for when the transition occurs. And so, even if you had warning, the change can still catch you off guard.
3. Keep Your Sense of Humor
Having a sense of humor about the transition helps you stay grounded and maintain perspective. It allows you to not get drawn into the drama that can sometimes occur with transitions.
Most especially, keeping your sense of humor helps to keep you in a more open and accepting mindset. This is as opposed to having a pessimistic or fatalistic view about the change. When that happens it’s harder to be able to positively cope with the change and makes the transition more difficult.
4. Turn Toward the Future
It’s okay to reflect on the past and consider its meaning for yourself. However, it also helps to not dwell on it either. Rather, turn towards the future and what it offers. Consider how the future can be an opportunity for growth.
Too often we become nostalgic for the past and almost fearful or uncertain of what the future might hold. Instead of sticking your head in a hole, turn toward the future and welcome it with open arms.
5. Ask for Help
With any major life change, it pays to ask for help. A friend or family member whose opinion and perspective you value can certainly be helpful. However, seeking out professional support from a therapist is a good idea as well.
Working with a counselor who understands life transitions and all of the meaning and complications it may bring can be really useful. If anything, it’s nice to know that you’re not the only one who has to struggle with these issues. Plus, you will have a resource to vent and examine the feelings and emotions that you are holding onto.
Although change is inevitable, that doesn’t mean you don’t’ have to face it empty-handed. Utilize the strategies mentioned above for coping with a life transition. And don’t hesitate to ask for help from a counselor who understands the issues surrounding a big life change. That way you can fully embrace your life transition with grace.