What To Do Next After A Big Life ChangeJul 11, 2020
Have you made a big life change recently? Whether it was a career change, divorce or even deciding to get fit – the work doesn’t just stop when you make the change! Depending on your situation, you may be going through a period of adjustment. It can be difficult to keep momentum after the initial act, even if it was for the best.
Making life changes, such as leaving a relationship or quitting a job, isn’t usually easy or pleasant. You need to strengthen yourself and mentally prepare for the rough and tumble that almost certainly lies ahead. As a life coach and virtual therapist, I help my clients adjust to new changes all the time. Today I want to share some advice on what to do next after a big life change.
Acknowledge Your Feelings
Acknowledge what you are feeling and thinking in the moment and recognise it may be connected to the change you are going through. In other words, it’s not necessarily you but something you are reacting to because of your situation. I know when I’ve gone through major change I could be a bit barky and angry. Although I behaved badly occasionally, I knew it wasn’t “me”, and I was able to march forward. Knowing things may get tough from time to time can actually be a big comfort.
Where possible, sit with the emotions and feelings, acknowledge them for what they are, and seek to separate them from you personally. So, what you might do is to sit quietly and acknowledge you’re feeling frustrated, angry, bitter, or whatever the emotion is. Say to yourself, “I am feeling X, Y, Z and that’s OK because I understand it’s the situation that is having an impact on me. The emotion I am feeling is not me, but how my body and mind are reacting. I feel it, acknowledge it, and now I let it go.”
Draw On Past Success
Remember the challenging times you have already lived through. What got you through them? What resources – such as courage, confidence, patience, or resilience – were useful? It might help to write a list to remind you. Then, when you need to, sit quietly and take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, imagine a resource you have used before, such as courage. Remember a time where you used courage. What happened?
Relive the situation in as much detail as you can recall, all the time breathing in and reconnecting to the courage you felt then. Feel how your courage felt and how it empowered you, and breathe that feeling in again, allowing it to fill your whole body and strengthen you.
Yes, this may sound like an odd thing to do, but engage your imagination and just try it: You’ll be surprised how your mind and body instinctively know how to re-create these resources. Whenever you need courage or any other positive resource, close your eyes and inhale that resource back into your body. If you need a resource that you don’t remember ever experiencing, imagine what it would feel like, or imagine someone else who has an ample supply of that resource and what you notice about them – it still works.
Take The Long View
Take a helicopter view of your whole life, not just the change you are experiencing, and remember life will look different, maybe next week, next month, next year. Now that you are taking control and making change for the better, the current turmoil is temporary. Remind yourself of that when things are particularly challenging.
“You have to be willing to give up the life you have planned in order to receive the life that is waiting for you.” – Joseph Campbell
Remember That You’re In Control
You are in control of how you react. Sometimes not reacting is the right thing to do and is just as powerful or smarter than reacting (even if you want to show you were right or want the last word!). Remember, there might not be much point anyway. If you are leaving your job, why get into an argument with your boss? If you are leaving your partner, why get into another fight? This removes a lot of the stress, too. Seek to make your life as easy as possible during the transition.
It may be difficult, stressful, and painful, but take comfort that when you get through the transition, it’s going to be better – for everyone involved. Especially you. I promise.
Find Out More
If you have just made a big life change, then I hope the above advice has proved useful. Even if change is for the best, that doesn’t mean it’s easy! What counts is to remain focused on your goal so you can carve the better path you intended for yourself. Taking the time to reflect can really help you with this.
Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know about the positive changes you’ve recently made in your life. You can also follow me on Facebook where I share regular tips and advice on maintaining positive mental health. To learn more about moving forward and finding the life that’s waiting for your, check out my book, Your Life Your Way.