By: Rhiannon Schaub
I like to think that every opportunity, every situation in life, provides some kind of learning experience. Whether it be a situation you enjoyed, or a situation you did not, I think there is always something to be learned from any experience. While some learning experiences may not have been enjoyable and you may be glad when they are over despite what you have learned, other experiences may leave you feeling as though you are not ready for the chapter to end, despite knowing that it can’t last forever.
This may not be because you feel as though you have not gotten everything you were hoping for from the experience, it may not be because you are not ready to move away from or move on from the experience, but perhaps just because you enjoyed being a part of it and don’t want to let go. I think change is something we all struggle with from time to time, and the bigger the change, the more difficult it is to adjust.
However, change is how we continue to grow as people. As I stated in the beginning, every opportunity provides a learning experience, and if we spend our whole lives living through one single experience, we may be missing out on so many good things we could learn. Without change, we never learn to adapt, never learn new things, and, consequently, we never grow to become the best we can be.
Despite understanding the benefits of change, I know it can still be difficult to adjust to it, and if you’re struggling too much through the transition, this can definitely affect your experience and what you learn, so I wanted to provide some tips for adjusting to changes and transitions:
- Find and maintain your support system: Even when going through change, there is usually one or two things that remain constant: you may be moving jobs, but staying in your current home; you may be moving to a new city, but bringing with you a friend or family member. One thing that can be very helpful in adjusting to a change is using your support system: your friends, your family. The people that have always stood by you can continue to do so to help you adjust to a new chapter in your life.
- Keep elements of your routine, or build a new one: Perhaps you’re starting a new job, and this new job requires you to start earlier or commute further. If you had a morning routine in place that no longer works with this new schedule, build and plan a new one before you start so that you don’t feel overwhelmed on your first day. Also, try to keep an element or two from your old routine to ease yourself into the transition: if you always sit on the porch and drink your coffee before work, allow yourself some time to still do that. If you enjoy doing yoga to get yourself up and moving, go to bed a little earlier so you can wake up a little earlier and have time to stretch.
- Don’t bottle up or discredit your feelings: Everyone adjusts to change differently. Always remember that your feelings are valid and any concerns you may have should be taken seriously, because if it matters to you, then it matters. Find a member of your support system and who you trust and talk with them about how you’re feeling and share your concerns. Sometimes talking through a situation with someone can relieve a lot of stress and anxiety around the change, and can also provide an opportunity to find the positives in the change, or develop some strategies in coping with the change.
What I’m really trying to say is that humans are creatures of habit, but we need to change in order to learn and grow. So, when faced with a change, don’t run from it; embrace it, and take from it any new skills and experiences you can. Don’t mourn the end of something good, but be grateful for the experiences it gave you and the lessons it taught you, knowing that you’re now prepared for the next chapter of your life.