“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost
Adjusting To Change Can Be Difficult
Has your life been changed by a major event such as a death, divorce, or layoffs at work? Are you having a hard time moving through and past the emotional turmoil? Do you feel completely stuck and like you need guidance getting back on track?
Maybe you’re excited about an upcoming move or a career change, like a new job or a promotion. Or is your family expanding with a baby? Perhaps you are in a new relationship. Are you leaving or returning to school, going to a new school or about to graduate?
There’s no denying that life presents us with our fair share of challenges, sometimes in the form of change, whether sudden or expected, negative or positive. Researchers have suggested that the average person will experience a transition in life every 12 to 18 months.
Common Life Transitions
Some of the most common life transitions that clients navigate are:
- Beginning College
- Changing schools
- Returning to school
- Getting married
- Entering a new relationship
- Having a baby
- Empty-nest syndrome (children leaving home)
- Breakup, separation, or divorce
- Infidelity recovery
- Job loss
- Career change
- Financial gain/loss
- Serious illness or disability
- Aging issues
- A serious accident
- Questioning the meaning of life
- Questioning faith/spirituality
These changes, even the positive ones, can throw us into a tailspin and leave us feeling stressed, confused, and vulnerable.
Change often causes issues that can affect your daily life. If you’re facing a big change, you might experience depression, anxiety, or fatigue. You might suffer from headaches, difficulty sleeping or be unable to eat well. For some people, efforts to cope with change can lead to drug and alcohol abuse.
Change Can Be Beneficial
Change can influence personal growth. Change gives us the opportunity to become stronger and better prepared for what life throws at us next. With each new challenge, we develop new personal skills and obtain a greater awareness of ourselves. Even changes that are unexpected or unwanted can be beneficial.
Change can provide an opportunity for the development of skills and can be a learning experience. It can also bring an opportunity for increased self-awareness and an identification of values.
But changes that disrupt life too much or make it difficult (or seemingly impossible) to cope with new circumstances can lead to problems adjusting. Symptoms of an adjustment disorder usually begin within three months of the stressful change and can include feeling depressed or anxious, changes in daily habits, overwhelming levels of stress or feelings of panic, changes in sleeping or eating habits, and difficulty finding pleasure in activities you once enjoyed. Difficulty adjusting to changes can also lead to reckless or dangerous behavior and avoiding family or friends.
Is it time to speak to someone?
Talking to a therapist can be helpful with handling all the changes in life. And when those changes result in stress, anxiety or depression, a therapist can help by treating those issues and working with you to develop strategies to make any life transition easier on you.
With the right tools and mindset, you have the power to not only overcome any adversity, but also grow into a more authentic and confident version of yourself.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a life transition and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch. You don’t have to struggle alone.