My Top 5 Tips for Managing Life Changes with Minimal Stress

While few things are more certain in life than change, that does not necessarily make dealing with change any easier. Managing life changes with minimal stress takes some work, but don’t let that stress you. <grin>  When changes comes your way, you might need some stress management techniques to help get you through it. As we go and grow through these times, we get a little better at dealing with it and not having those mega mommy meltdowns.  You know the ones right?

Tips to Manage Stress When Life Changes Come Your Way

1. Let yourself feel the sense of loss, grief, hurt, anger, pain, or other emotions that the life change brings on. It may be a costly mistake in terms of your emotional and even physical health if you stifle your feelings, or tell yourself you “shouldn’t” be feeling the things you do. Go ahead and let yourself experience the emotions, and don’t judge yourself.  For Real.  It’s not easy to accept, but you’re human, and you’re entitled to your feelings.  Feelings aren’t wrong.

2. Don’t wallow in those negative emotions, either. While honestly experiencing those feelings is healthy, dwelling on them for a long time (years, perhaps) and allowing them to make you bitter and angry is not optimal. If you need to, seek professional help in letting those feelings go after experiencing them.  There’s nothing wrong with seeing a therapist now and then.  In fact, I think everyone should go at least once a year!

You might consider keeping a journal or doing artwork to get through the emotional difficulties. These creative activities can be helpful, because you have to “feel” the emotion to write, draw, paint, or sculpt; but then the feelings are worked out and transformed into something tangible.  Once you feel it, you can deal with it and start to move forward.

3. Try to see the life change in a positive light. Go ahead and embrace the change rather than trying to hide or run from it. Accept it, and you may find a sense of freedom.  My husband and I have not had an easy marriage.  We have had a lot of life in our short 6 years together, and at times, he’s taken an unplanned “vacation” from home.  It makes me very ANGRY when it happens.  I feel abandoned, not worth it, you know, all those things.  However, when I get to the point where I can laugh and say “Ok, I haven’t had to pick any dirty clothes up off the floor in days…” I know I’m back on track and whatever happens next, I’ll be ready.

4. It’s okay to say “no” to some activities so that you can get some extra rest. Excessive sleeping can be a sign of serious depression, but getting some extra rest during a time of upheaval and change may actually be healthy and help you cope better.  I for one love a good nap with my little guy when I feel like the world is crumbling around me.  You can’t hide in bed forever, but you can take a break.

5. Remember who you are. Your identity, interests, life goals, and so forth are important to remember during times of change. They are like your anchors. A life change may actually bring on a reassessment of these things, and that can be healthy, too. Maybe you need to face some fears and anxieties you have about change in general. Now is the time to do it.  Pick a goal, and take some time to write out the steps it would take to get it done.  Then, pick one and get started on it.  No sense waiting for the right time, things are changing, go ahead and make the change more positive!

Sometimes when life is changing faster than we can cope with it, we tend to gravitate toward some negative coping tools.  Truth is, they don’t help, and you could find your self in a bigger mess than you are already in!  These not-so-healthy ways of coping can add more stress!

Destructive Coping Strategies to Avoid

* Drinking alcohol
* Smoking
* Spending money on things you don’t really need
* Gambling
* Overeating
* Starving yourself
* Procrastination

What are your favorite positive ways to get through your struggle?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

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