Coping with change

Change is the wind of life, blowing us in stimulating new directions. We need to change, to move on and to develop as people but it can be the hardest thing to adjust to and accept. Just like a deciduous tree, we need to shed our old leaves and allow room for new growth. The period of ‘winter’ where we feel bare and exposed is a necessary transition. Life is a journey and going to new places involves travelling between one and the other – sometimes we need ‘maps’ and ‘signposts’ to navigate our way and talking about things can help us find the right direction.

We tend to feel comfortable with what we know. While some people find it exciting and a challenge that energises them, others find it’s safer to stick with the familiar. This is particularly challenging during adolescence where there are huge changes taking place – bodily, socially, academically, emotionally, sexually. All this change can feel out of your control and scary. But change is also the way towards new patterns of doing things differently. It can represent hope.”

Tips for managing changes in your life

  • Accept what is happening
    Recognise that anything new may feel uncomfortable; even a new pair of shoes can take a while to feel right!
    Be gentle with yourself, allow time to adjust.
    Remember that change is normal, and that your feelings are normal.
    Talk to supportive people in your life – your friends are all in the same boat! 
  • Build some emotional scaffolding to support you
    Take a day at a time; focus on the short term; do what you can.
    Get enough sleep, eat well, do enjoyable things.
  • Strategies
    Remind yourself what helped you in the past.
    Give yourself positive self-talk, encourage yourself.
    Avoid unhelpful ways of ‘escaping’, such as drinking alcohol, eating too much food, procrastinating.
    Exercise and/or relax.