Your young adult years are full of changes. There’s graduation, college, moving out, getting your first job, and the list goes on.
Change is often unavoidable, and dealing with significant life transitions isn’t always an easy task when you’re young. Change isn’t all that easy to handle when you’re older, either.
The good news?
There are plenty of things you can do to make dealing with new developments just a little bit easier for you. So, let’s go over five of the best ways to get better at coping with change.
1. Focus on the Positive
Change can be either good or bad, but how you view an event depends on your perspective and life experiences.
For example, one person might feel ready to graduate from college and officially start their dream career. Another person might be extremely upset about leaving their college friends and lifestyle behind.
Often, we get so caught up in our own emotions that we fail to look on the bright side. So, if you’re finding a particular event challenging to deal with, it helps to ask yourself what positives this change is causing in your life.
So, how do you do that?
Try to shift your perspective!
Is there anything you can do now that you weren’t able to do before?
If you just graduated from college, you may have the doors to several career paths suddenly opened for you. If you just got a new job, the extra money in your bank account can help you reach your goal of getting your own place.
You can also take the time to create a gratitude list.
Take note of everything in your life that you’re thankful for, including people, items, experiences, and opportunities. Jot them down in a notebook and refer back to the list when you’re feeling down or when new changes appear overwhelming.
2. Live in the Moment
It’s easy to say but not so easy to accomplish.
It’s common to find yourself living in the past and continuously reminiscing about what once was. As much as these memories might bring you some happiness, they also might be keeping you from enjoying what you do have right now.
At the same time, living in the future can set you back too!
If you’re constantly worrying about the transitions that might occur, you’ll rob yourself of the chance to appreciate the present moment.
Change is unavoidable. Yet, living in the past or the future will make your entire life revolve around change rather than what currently is.
As Ferris Bueller would say, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
So, do your best to focus on the current moment and what you do have going for you. Take a few deep breaths, bring yourself back to the present, and give yourself some time to cope.
3. Find Healthy Coping Strategies
You like things the way they are right now, but they can’t stay like this forever. You need to prepare yourself to handle the changes when they finally do happen.
That’s why it’s so important to find positive and healthy coping strategies.
A healthy coping strategy is one that benefits your physical, mental, emotional, or social health. It can also positively impact any combination of these!
For example, exercise is a great way to let go of pent-up energy and release endorphins. This can help you to naturally boost your mood and get rid of any anxiety or stress that’s built-up.
Meditation can help you to clear your mind and face the change with a level head. Plus, it can help you to relax and improve your sleep quality if thoughts of these new changes are keeping you up at night.
Finding new hobbies is a great way to divert your attention elsewhere and find enjoyment in life.
Just remember that not all coping strategies are healthy.
Alcohol, drugs, or reckless behavior might relieve your feelings for a little while — but they’re extremely dangerous. And they don’t actually help you to work through your emotions.
Find a coping strategy that works best for you!
4. Talk About the Change
When you’re struggling to adapt to changes in your life, it helps to be able to talk about it with somebody that you trust. So, find a close friend, family member, teacher, or even a complete stranger.
Take the time to vent about what the change is and how it’s affecting you.
For better results, let your confidante know whether you’re looking for advice or just somebody to listen to you.
Even though it might be difficult to talk about the change, acknowledging that it’s occurring is a great first step in tackling your emotions. Once you begin to process the change, you can then develop an action plan to adapt.
Keep open communication with those you care about most. Having a reliable support system might just be what you need to help you work through life’s changes.
5. Understand That It’s All Normal
Change is a regular aspect of life, no matter how hard you find it to cope with. Change is inevitable and also allows you the chance to grow as a person.
So, give yourself some time!
You can’t expect to overcome a new change in a few hours or even a few days. It’ll take time to digest what’s happening, face your emotions head-on, and then work on a strategy to adapt to the change.
Remember — everyone copes differently.
Do your best to avoid putting a timeline on your feelings and adjustments. Major changes like graduating or losing somebody you care a lot about might call for an intense emotional response.
Take the change with open arms and see where life brings you.
No matter what you’re going through right now, you can be sure that change is going to be a constant in your life. And, since you can’t entirely avoid it, coping with change is your next best option.
By implementing these five strategies, you should be well on your way to going with the flow and embracing the new!
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Quarry Trail to help them with their online marketing.