When big changes we aren’t prepared for happen in our lives (like the pandemic), knowing how to move forward can be really difficult. As part of Mental Health Month, let’s look at some tools that can help us process change and adapt more easily.️
- Focus on what you can control. During times of change, it can be comforting to know there are still things you have control over, like how you react to situations and how you start each day.️
- Write out your feelings on paper. One of the best ways to release the overwhelming thoughts in your head is to start a journal to jot down your thoughts and feelings.
- Practice self-care where you can. Your routine may have changed completely, but incorporating small, familiar self-care habits – even it’s something simple, like showering or taking a walk after dinner – can give you the mental clarity to process the big changes.️
- Find support. Try talking to friends or family, joining an online support group, or opening up to a mental health professional. Having someone who can listen and provide support can help you through any transition you’re working through.️
- Tune into the good. There is most likely some grief that comes with processing change. Let yourself grieve, but try not to get stuck spiraling into the fear, anguish, and negativity that those changes may bring. Instead, retrain your brain to think of the positives in your life by doing things like practicing gratitude, focusing on the small things that bring you joy (like #ichoosebeauty), or reframing challenges as opportunities.️
- Make plans. You don’t have to stick to your plan perfectly. Just starting small with what your day or week is going to look like can help get rid of that uncertainty that comes with change.️
- Remind yourself that you are strong and capable and can make it through whatever challenges you’re facing (and that you’ve made it through some tough changes in the past). Maybe even say it out loud to yourself to really let it sink in.
You can find more info about processing big changes, plus a worksheet, by downloading the free Tools2Thrive toolkit from my partner, Mental Health America here.