Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl once said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
In my case, it was letting go of someone I loved very much. My father had been very ill for a long time, and he asked to stop treatment and pass peacefully. After spending all of my energy for so long on finding the next treatment, the next procedure that would keep him with me, I had to learn to gently let go. Change was coming, whether I wanted it to or not.
Another example: I worked for several years in an environment that was very harmful to my mental health. I was terrified of failing at trying something new, and I compared myself to those around me. From my perspective, I could only see someone who was lacking – but in reality, it was like comparing apples to oranges. We were not the same. I wasn’t failing…I needed a change.
So, what do you do when you find yourself in times of turbulence? When life feels so uncomfortable and unstable?
6 Tips for Embracing Change
While we cannot control the things that are changing around us, we can take control of how we respond.
Navigating these changes can be scary. Here are a few quick tips to help you navigate life’s many uncertainties while also keeping your mental health intact.
1. Resist resisting
As humans, we are naturally resistant to change – even though change is an inevitable part of life. For me, one of the best things I have ever done for my mental health is to give myself permission to accept that change is happening. Not only that, but give myself permission to not have all the answers.
2. Acknowledge you have feelings
Holding space for your emotions and acknowledging the feelings you have (good and bad) is an important step in navigating a big change. It’s okay to say, “I’m really nervous about starting this new job” or “I am afraid I will miss —-”.
3. Adjust your expectations
When I changed my career field, I struggled with feeling like I needed to have all the answers and be “good” at everything right away. I needed time to grow, and that was okay. It has now been over a year in my new role, and I am so much more confident. Take the time. You’ll be glad you did.
4. Lean into your routines
When everything around you is changing, it’s important for some things to remain consistent. Whether that is your friendships, a morning cup of coffee, an exercise routine, etc. – whatever it is, lean into those stable areas in your life to balance out all the uncertainty.
5. Reflect on your resilience
If you’re reading this, your track record of making it through really hard and challenging days is 100%. Take time to think about all the times you have overcome challenges and navigated change well. Looking back, you’ll be surprised at how resilient you really are.
6. Savor the good
Had a recent win at work or home? Celebrate it. Lingering on those victories, no matter how small, will help give you the confidence to continue embracing the stage of life you are in.
At The Lily-Jo Project, we understand that navigating change can be a challenging process. To help, we offer a variety of free mental health content on our website (www.thelilyjoproject.com) that can be of assistance.
We also offer a public community on Facebook that provides a forum to seek support with the day-to-day questions and concerns that go with raising a family and mental health issues in general. I moderate the group, and we would love to have you. You can request to join here – looking forward to seeing you there!
Further Resources on Mental Health and Change
If you found this article helpful, check out these additional resources on mental health and change.
- The Lily-Jo Project’s article, What it Means to Be Resilient: 6 Tips From Lily-Jo About Bouncing Back
- The Lily-Jo Project’s article, 20 Songs that Inspire Change Within Ourselves and the World
- Calm’s article, 9 Ways to Navigate Change Mindfully
- Mindfulness Muse’s article, 7 Teachings to Navigate through Major Life Changes
- Thrive Global’s article, 10 Tips for Successfully Navigating Major Life Transitions
About the Author: Brandy Browne
Brandy Browne is the shelter manager for a family crisis center in the United States, as well as a counseling student and blogger for UnStuck (www.unstucks.com) – her area of passion is helping families develop positive habits and breaking the cycle of generational trauma and poverty.
Her education is in early and elementary education, and she also has a masters degree in parenting and child/adolescent development. Brandy is currently in the process of obtaining her counseling license as a marriage and family therapist. Brandy is a wife to her high school sweetheart of seventeen years, and together they share three children, aged twelve, nine, and seven. In her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, writing, walking, and biking.