By Books Author Denise Turney
Major life changes can knock the wind out of you. They can break your heart. A set schedule could ease the pain. For instance, you could develop a schedule that predicts what time you get out of bed in the morning, when you shower and head to work. You could even drive to and from work or school the same way.
But, schedules can’t stop life from coming at you. That’s right. Living small or forcing yourself into predictable routines won’t save you from major life experiences. They could even push you toward boredom which, in time, could develop into a gnawing depression.
Daily Routines be gone
I learned this the hard way after years of developing and sticking with a workable routine. What you think is predictable won’t save you, even if that predictability is rooted in religion. The first time that I learned this was after my mom transitioned.
I learned this when my dad moved, leaving us with our paternal grandparents for a year. And, I definitely learned this after my son transitioned. Writing novels couldn’t save me then. I’m surprised that I even started writing on another novel.
Dealing with major life changes
So, what to do? How can you effectively deal with major life changes, especially the types of changes that you can never turn back from?
For starters, acknowledge that you are dealing with a major life change. Discover the impact that the change could have on you. The Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory (link) could be a good place to start.
Additionally, you might find it helpful to write about what just happened (e.g. divorce, layoff, loved one transitioning). Even more, it might prove beneficial to talk with a trusted friend or professional about what you are going through.
Stay Motivated – Keep Going
And, referring to “going through”, encourage yourself that you will get through what you’re experiencing. Be honest about what you feel and experience.
Take breaks, especially when you feel yourself becoming imbalanced. Also, exercise, drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet.
Pay attention to times when you feel tempted to eat or drink unhealthy. It could be a sign that you need to rest. It could be a sign that you need support.
Love yourself. Give yourself the positive help that you need.
More ways to deal with major life changes
Getting outside for 40 or more consecutive minutes a day helped me tremendously while I was dealing with a job layoff during the Great Recession. Who knows? It might prove beneficial for you too.
Here are more way to deal with major life changes. Keep in mind, that honesty, patience and self-love are key components of each of the below actions:
- Depending on the life change, you could write down benefits that derived from the change. For example, after I was laid off, I launched my freelance writing career. I also discovered more ways to connect my novels with appreciative book readers.
- Take action to move into the next phase of your life. After all, you know that you can’t stay where you are. You don’t want to get stuck in a bad place.
- Go on a social media and TV diet. Trying reading a good book instead.
- Spend time with friends. For example, you could visit with one or more friends at least once a week. You could call a friend once a week.
Major life change shift tips
As hard as it may be to believe, getting through major life changes can teach you a lot about yourself. You can get through what you’re facing. Here are additional actions that you could take to effectively deal with major life changes:
- Keep connecting with people who love you. As tempting as it might be, don’t isolate yourself.
- Get enough sleep. But, don’t over sleep.
- Appreciate healthy (non-isolating) routines.
- Avoid adding another major change into your life until you get through this change mentally, emotionally and physically.
- Watch your finances. Don’t over spend. Money can’t help you to avoid the stress that you might want to run away from.
- Try something different once a day or once a week. It could be something as small as driving a new route to work or trying a new salad when you visit a restaurant.
In this world, it’s impossible to avoid change. Regardless of what happens in your life, you’ll find great benefit in being patient with yourself now and forever. Also, sticking to your existing routines could help prevent you from feeling like the ground is shifting right beneath your feet.
But, routines won’t save you from change. They can help reduce stress. But, routines won’t stop change. Keep moving in the right direction. Keep advancing. Surround yourself with loving people. Offer yourself as much support, peace and love that you can. Be like Mulukan in Long Walk Up and never, ever give up on YOU.
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