The whole of life happens in phases. From babyhood to childhood, adolescence to early adulthood, to our middle age, our older years and beyond — our lives unfold in stages. With each chapter, comes its own set of lessons to be learned and challenges to meet. Sometimes, as we move throughout our lives, it can be tough to adjust to a new change and accept the new normal, whether we made the choice for ourselves or not.
Experiencing challenges when adjusting to phase of life issues — such as an unexpected job loss, a marriage separation or divorce, the loss of a loved one, relationship challenges, parenting issues, coming of age difficulties and so on — is a very common problem.
It’s also one we frequently and successfully help our clients overcome through counseling sessions.
Over the past four months, we’ve watched these issues rise amid the stress and anxiety triggered by COVID-19. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has created an online resource center dedicated solely to offering ways to cope with the stressors of this unprecedented time.
We want to help you not only face, but overcome the unique challenges you might be experiencing given your phase of life and the effects of COVID-19. So we’ve come up with 5 things to remember when adjusting to this new chapter, challenge or new way of life.
As the saying goes: “The first rule of kindness is to be kind to yourself.” When it comes to change, welcomed or not, you are dealing with a lot. Try to relax, speak kindly to yourself and give yourself mental breaks when you need them. Writing in a journal can often help you work through feelings of adjustment and relinquish them from your mind so you can focus on seeing the transition through.
“Change is temporary. Transformation is permanent.” Changes can bring on a feeling of chaos, a loss of control, and a general uncertainty over your days. Keep in mind that these feelings in the throes of a change are rarely permanent. What endures is the transformation you achieve when you come out on the other side having overcome the challenge.
Everybody needs self-care. In times of stress and adjustment, we need even more. Think about your hobbies and the routines that help you feel more like yourself. Maybe you love getting lost in a good book, spending time in nature, cooking a savory meal, being active or spending quality time with your family. Create a self-care routine you can revisit that helps you gain respite so you can return to the world ready to face your challenges.
Medical researchers have actually proven in numerous studies that positive thinking and optimism leads to better coping skills during hardships and times of stress. It can also lead to better medical outcomes. Read more about this in a recent article from the Mayo Clinic. Stay positive as much as you can throughout a change. Negative self-talk and negative thoughts can bring on additional stress and exhaustion in handling your new situation. Give yourself pep talks as a cherished friend would. You’ll build a better foundation to meet the challenge you’re facing.
If during the course of a life transition or new situation, you begin to experience feelings of hopelessness in seeing yourself through or just can’t shake the feeling of chaos, ask for help. A trained and experienced counselor who specializes in phase of life issues and adjustment challenges can help you work through your feelings and offer useful coping strategies. Together with your therapist, you’ll develop a counseling treatment plan that will help you overcome the hardship and be better prepared to face new ones.
The current global pandemic has pushed many of us into new situations, challenges and phases of life. If you’re having trouble adjusting to a new normal, we can help you! Our New Orleans metro area counselors specialize in treating a variety of adjustment issues along with helping clients through depression, anxiety and more. Fill out our online contact form or call us anytime at 504-302-7771 to get matched with a counselor.