Even for those of us who crave adventure, change can be terrifying. Whether it is expected change, like our students who are going from one school to the next, or unexpected change, like a lost job or loved one, all change is difficult and comes with a wide mix of emotions. If you are finding yourself in the midst of one of these storms, here are a few ways to weather through it:
Acknowledge that it is difficult (and that is ok!). In our culture we often pride ourselves on being independent and strong. When change occurs we often say “I’m fine” to others and tell ourselves “I shouldn’t be upset about this”. Transitions whether good or bad come with a loss attached. Losing parts of our lives is painful regardless of the situation and has grief attached.
Share your story. As humans we need to connect with others. We need to be seen and heard. After a loss you need to tell others your story. Tell someone you trust about the changes you are going through. Tell them a story about your lost loved one. Share what you miss or are anticipating missing. You might realize that you aren’t alone in your struggle.
Find a solid ground. In the midst of change it can feel like you are trying to stand on top of a trampoline. The ground is shaky and you forget what can hold you up. Take time to find places that are solid in your life. Acknowledge the things that have not and will not change in your world and celebrate the good in those people/ things.
Take gentle, prepared steps. Once you’ve found some places that are solid, prepare yourself for the road ahead. Push back the part of you that wants to run ahead and give yourself time to think about where you want to step next. It will take time to shift gears slowly but taking that time is vital to accepting the changes in your life so that you can go forward without regrets.