Written by: Jenny Smith
Change can feel both exciting and scary. Inevitably bringing in the new also means letting go of the old which carries a potential host of emotions such as grief, loss, sadness, fear and anxiety with it. It is easy to forget that human beings operate on many different levels and whilst the practical side of us can get very busy with organising change and making arrangements for new things, at another level inside we might well be feeling very different and if left unchecked, these feelings can give rise to stress and in the long run illness.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It can be so easy to go it alone, particularly when the stress levels start to rise. Classically it can feel harder to communicate when you are uptight and it is easy to get into a mind-set of doing everything yourself. Most people respond very positively to being asked directly for help, so see if you can identify ways in which those around you and who care about you, can support your transition.
If you are moving house for example, ask for help with sorting your things and packing. This can be an emotionally and physically tiring task and having a friend to make tea and enjoy light conversation with can help immensely.
Give yourself time to adjust
If you have just gone through a big life change like moving house, finishing work or experiencing a bereavement, consciously give yourself time to adjust. Our emotions and mental state sometimes need time to catch up with our physical changes, taking time each day to just rest and take any pressure off, can often be the best medicine.
Become aware of any patterns of self-talk that are pressuring you to feel differently, avoid feeding these thought patterns by finding alternative phrases or mantra’s that are accepting of how and what you feel. Focus on doing one thing at a time.
Avoid becoming a martyr and carrying on regardless. Find ways to treat yourself in the face of big changes, whether it’s having your favourite food, going out for a meal, arranging a massage or a night with your friends to take your mind off things. Make sure that youâ€™re booking in time that is explicitly for unwinding and enjoying yourself.
Shake off any attitude about being selfish; celebrate having got through a demanding time. Rather than making this a one off, commit to having treat days or evenings regularly and see it as vitamin C for the soul!
Look after yourself on all levels
Remember you are made up of many different parts and it’s important to look after yourself on all levels: our physicality, our emotional well-being, our mental states and our spiritual lives. It’s easy to focus on one aspect and neglect the others.
Make sure that your diet and levels of exercise are good, whilst simultaneously making time for activities that soothe your soul and help you feel rested and supported in life. Find things to read that inspire you, if you have a faith then make time to draw on it. Finally, remember that you are not alone, even if you don’t have friends and family close by, remember that there are always many people going through the same challenges and transitions.