My World is Changing. Now What?
Everyone’s life is unique, but one thing we all have in common is change. Our bodies and minds grow. Parents lose their jobs. Students switch schools. Loved ones fall ill. Good friends grow distant and new friends enter our lives.
Change is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t stop it from being bewildering at times. Sometimes we find our flow and life seems to be cruising along nicely until – bam! – something changes and suddenly we feel lost.
If your world is changing, you may be wondering: now what? Managing change isn’t always easy, but there are things that you can do to make the transition smoother.
Seek out support
Dealing with change can be extremely difficult, but what makes it even harder is when you’re facing it alone. If you have no one to talk to about your fears and challenges, the isolation and sense of helplessness can be overwhelming.
The good news? There are people in your life – whether it’s family members, teachers, mentors or friends – who care about your well-being and are ready to help you work through any challenges you’re facing. If they’re perceptive, they may see that you’re having a tough time and need support, but other times it’s up to you to reach out a hand and ask for help.
Sometimes seeking out support can feel impossible. Maybe you feel that the change you’re dealing with is embarrassing, or you’re afraid of being rejected by the person you turn to for help. So yes, this step definitely takes courage. But finding someone willing to help you navigate your situation can be a huge relief, so it’s well worth the effort.
Find a healthy emotional outlet
Whatever change is happening in your life, there will likely be some degree of upheaval, and with that can come strong emotions. Frustration, stress, resentment, worry, anger, despair – depending on your situation, you might end up feeling any or all of these. Again, this is quite a natural human response. However, the impact that these emotions have on your life depends on how you choose to deal with them.
To manage change in a healthy way and minimize the potential for negative outcomes, it’s important to build resilience and have a healthy emotional outlet. This means having a way to vent your anger without lashing out at others, or to acknowledge your sadness without falling into depression.
How you choose to do this depends on your personality and interests. If you like music, try pouring your emotions into song writing. If you like sports, try burning off your stress by training hard. The key is to acknowledge your feelings and then channel them into something positive, rather than keeping them bottled up or using them to hurt yourself or others.
Seize the opportunity
To say that every cloud has a silver lining is a huge cliché, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to it. When change disrupts your life, it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects: the things you’re losing, the new obstacles you’re facing, the unfairness you’re encountering. These challenges are real, so it doesn’t help to pretend they don’t exist.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t look for the positive elements of your situation. If a member of your family dies unexpectedly, this can be incredibly sad, but it can also be an opportunity for you to build closer bonds with your other family members as you grieve together. If your family moves and you are forced to change school, this can extremely stressful, but it can also be your chance to make new friends and explore new interests.
Change may take you outside your comfort zone, but sometimes this is a good thing. Managing change is rarely easy, but as explained above, there are active steps that you can take to minimize the negatives, maximize the positives and ultimately change your world for the better.
This article is part of Emerge Performance’s (Youth)Full Potential series, which encourages youths to expand their horizons, discover their potential and find happiness within.