5 tips for coping with change

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Health Assured team

19 July 2022

Change can be a good thing. It can take you out of your comfort zone and lead to new, exciting experiences. On the other hand, change can be hard to navigate, unsettling and anxiety-inducing. 

There are many sides to change, and it can involve many things: starting a new job, having a child, losing someone close to you, and much more. These changes can significantly impact your life, forcing you to find a new perspective. 

It is essential that you find ways to cope with change before it negatively impacts your health and wellbeing. In this article, we’ll look at how change can affect mental health and provide tips for how you can cope with such change.

 

Change and mental health

As Humans, we like to feel in control of our lives. That’s why the uncertainty often associated with change can lead to mental health problems such as stress and anxiety. This reaction is typical of humans because we like routine, and disturbing this routine can make us feel nervous and unsettled.  

Stress is a multifaceted condition. It has a range of mental and physical symptoms which can negatively impact your life. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms associated with stress: 

  • Anger, irritability or aggressiveness 
  • Muscle aches and headaches
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Avoiding family and friends
  • Stomach or digestively problems

The above is not an exhaustive list. Nevertheless, if you notice any of these symptoms, you must act swiftly before they seriously impact your health and wellbeing.

 

How to cope with change

The feelings associated with change can be both positive and negative. However, if they steer more towards the latter, you must find ways to alleviate these feelings. To help you navigate these situations and foster a positive outlook, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you along your journey: 

 

1. Be prepared

Change can be sudden and unexpected. Such change can be overwhelming, jolting you out of your everyday routine. That’s why, if you know a change is imminent – you must prepare yourself. Creating a clear and concise plan can help you acclimatise to your new situation, making the process less stressful. 

A clear plan will help you keep up with your routine, so the change doesn’t drastically impact your daily life. This preparation can help you break down the change into smaller, easier-to-manage parts. You can therefore deal with the situation step-by-step rather than all at once.

 

2. Reach out

Change is a common feature of everyday life. Someone close to you has likely dealt with a similar change to the one you are facing. It is helpful to talk to these people about your worries and concerns.

Friends and family play a vital role in protecting your mental health. Being open and talking about your situation can help you gain a new perspective. It is also helpful to get another person’s point-of-view as they may help you understand that the change isn’t as bad as you think.

 

3. Be mindful

Throughout this article, we have highlighted some common mental health problems associated with change. If left unattended, these problems can become debilitating. To help yourself live a happier and healthier life, you need to find specific techniques to combat these problems. There are numerous mindfulness techniques that can help with this – you just need to find the one that works for you. 

Such techniques include breathing exercises, meditation and journaling. These practices can help minimise stress, anxiety and overwhelming feelings. So, if the pressures of change are getting you down, take a moment to relax and clear your mind. This clarity can help you see the situation in a new light. 

 

4. Reflect on your situation

While dealing with a situation, it can be hard to see the bigger picture – in many instances, it is easier to dwell on the negative impacts. Nevertheless, you must try to see the silver lining and remember when one door closes, another opens. 

Following a change, it is necessary to reflect on what happened. By documenting the situation, you can learn from it. You can understand how you dealt with the change, what worked and what didn't, better preparing yourself for change in the future. 

 

5. Seek support

Coping with change can be overwhelming. If you feel like the above methods are not working for you (and you feel ready to so), you should consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

Seeing a mental health professional can often be a step in the right direction. They can help you recognise where negative feelings come from and help you implement strategies to get past them.

 

Health and wellbeing support from Health Assured

Want to find out more? Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers a 24/7 counselling helpline that can support your health and wellbeing.

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