Adjusting to Life Changes
Life is constantly changing and we are constantly growing. Sometimes changes can be small. Other times, changes can be big like going through a divorce, going away to college, moving out of the family home, a new job, having a child, having your child leave home, etc. Sometimes we arent prepared for these changes or don't want to deal with them. This can take a toll on our mental health as we try to navigate through uncharted territory.
The brain needs time to adjust, no matter the life event we’re going through. To help the process along and maintain our mental health, we can try a few of the following strategies.
Making a Plan
We may not all be planners, but as we work through a major life shift, it’s a good idea to become more organized. To do this, change what Pillay calls “goal intentions” to “implementation intentions.
Self-care is an old standard, but an important one. Don’t forget the importance of self-care, including maintaining a regular schedule, eating healthy, sleeping enough, and exercising.
Breaking down Uncertainty
“A study…showed that in people who are uncertain, 75 percent of people mispredict when bad things are going to happen,” Dr. Srini Pillay explains. “The uncertainty biases the brain to expect the worst. That doesn’t mean that change is great and you should expect the best, but you should recognize that your brain will go into…an automatic negativity bias.”