As humans we all encounter change throughout our lifespan; whether it is moving, starting a new job, beginning school, ending school, breaking up with a partner, or even meeting a new person. For a majority of people the thought of change is cringe-worthy, even anxiety inducing. If change is a natural part of life, why is it so difficult? Most of us are fearful of what we don’t know. When we are unsure of what to expect we doubt ourselves and we ask “what-if” questions. Ultimately, we are not able to predict the future and these types of questions are really more harmful than beneficial.
What is beneficial when it comes to preparing or adjusting to change?
Informing yourself through research
As mentioned above, a lot of anxiety about change stems from not knowing what to anticipate. If you are able to research upcoming changes in your life, then you are more aware of what to expect. Google is always at your fingertips, but you must be mindful of the source.
Taking care of yourself mentally and physically
Mental and physical health should always be high on your priority list, but they are particularly important to monitor during stressful times; this means getting essential nutrients, adequate sleep, exercise, and keeping up with your therapeutic goals and plans.
Although it sounds simple, it is sometimes quite hard to relax. Relaxation looks different for everyone; whether that means meditating, hanging out with friends, watching a show on Netflix, walking your pet, coloring, or taking a bath. It is imperative to take time to relax. If you are uncertain of what activities can be relaxing, take a look at this list!
Not undergoing too many changes at once
If you know that you have multiple changes coming your way, don’t add more onto your plate (if you can help it)! However, if it is unavoidable, try spacing things out to give yourself a breather.
Talking with loved ones or professionals
Use your resources! Talk with friends, family, a partner, a teacher/professor, your therapist, or anyone you deem appropriate. You can even talk to yourself by keeping a journal of your thoughts; it can be helpful to process things outside of your head.
Change affects everyone differently, especially impacting individuals on the spectrum and individuals with anxiety disorders. Those of us who struggle with change shouldn’t be ashamed! No matter how big or small the change may be, the anxiety arising from it won’t last forever. We are creatures of habit, so changing something at first will seem grueling; but then we adapt.
If you would like to learn more about how to prepare or cope with change, contact us. We are here to help!