You might find yourself calmly sailing through life and then in an instant, everything changes. I’m drawing on personal experience to help you figure out how to manage your big life changes.
Life has a way of turning upside down and it’s hard to know what to do or how to cope with that. For a period of time, life can be stable and you are sailing along but within an instant, something can change that throws you off your game. Or in my case, a series of things happen in a relatively short space of time. This can really make you question what direction you should turn in.
In this post, I’m drawing on personal experience to help you figure out how to manage your big life changes and regain control of your life.
In August 2011, I moved to Edinburgh with my wonderful partner, Bo, in order to undertake my degree. We had a fairly stable life for the most part with a few blips here and there which is nothing out of the ordinary.
Jumping into University life in the third year came with some challenges. Most of my class already knew each other. Being, normally, quite a sociable person, I found it difficult to make lasting connections in Edinburgh.
Fast forward a couple of years, I eventually settled into life in Edinburgh. I was working for a great company and Bo had a good job too. We had built up a small circle of friends and we enjoyed exploring Scotland as often as possible.
When life gives you a low blow
2017, was a particularly tough year. At Easter 2017 we lost my future father in law. It was devastating. I always likened losing a parent to losing a limb; You are numb and broken afterwards. Bo was strong but I know it hurt him to leave his family and return to Edinburgh after the funeral.
In October 2017 a dear friend chose to leave this world. He was a truly kind soul who would have helped anyone and his departure has left an incredible void.
As fate would have it I had already planned to be in Belfast during the funeral for another friends wedding party. When I returned to Edinburgh, we agreed it was time to move home.
Within four weeks, we had made the decision to relocate. We worked our notice periods, packed up our belongings and bid farewell to our tiny but homely little flat.
Setting up life in Belfast
Although we had received a bit of a kick in 2017, we decided to relocate at a good time. We moved into my dad’s home as he had just moved in with his partner. My brother was planning to buy this house so this gave us a few months to find a permanent place to live.
I had reconnected with an old colleague a few months prior to relocating. There was a temporary position available that would last for a few months. I was able to walk into the role and secure an income immediately.
After looking for work for two weeks, Bo was able to get a job with a previous employer too so we had fallen on our feet.
All at once
In the new year, we started searching for a house to rent as my brother began the process to buy the house we were living in. We found a suitable property four months later and moved in at the beginning of May 2018.
During this time, my temporary position would come to an end and this meant adding a job hunt into the mix. Luckily, I managed to find a position fairly quickly and was able to finish one position and start the next immediately.
Before the new year, I discovered that although I had a degree, I was missing a couple of essential grades from high school. Therefore, in January, I decided to go back to college on a part-time basis to get the qualifications I needed.
And of course, while all of this was going on I have been planning my wedding. My wonderful, amazing man and I will be tying the knot on 25th August 2018.
How to manage YOUR big life changes
I’ve said certain challenges appear to happen at once, and they can do. How you deal with them is dependant upon a few factors. The biggest factor being your outlook and attitude.
If you have been facing issue after issue, over a period of time this can really wear you down. You may not feel at your most robust and it is very easy to become overwhelmed. You may even reach your breaking point.
At this time, it is almost impossible to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. However, this is exactly what you need to do in order to manage your big life changes and regain control of your situation.
I can imagine you’re asking “but how do I do that?”
In order to remove yourself from a suffocating situation, you need to practise a little bit of self-care. When I say self-care, I mean taking actions for yourself to improve your mind frame and well being.
I don’t necessarily mean lighting a Yankee Candle and taking a bubble bath. Well, you can do that if that’s what calms you down (it works for me). You should take time out to do something that makes you feel good but also rejuvenates you.
Some top tips for taking better care of yourself:
- Create a good night time routine to get better sleep
- Have a healthy diet and fitness routine
- Go for a walk to get plenty of fresh air
- Put the screens down and read a book
- Take up a hobby
By practising self-care regularly you will be able to handle the next steps to regain control of your life.
Get on top of your situation by organising yourself. By taking time to plan out certain elements of your life, you are, at the very least, taking care of your basic needs. This will go a long way to helping you tackle the issues that you are facing.
Spend a little time each week planning your meals and workout routine for the week ahead. Don’t forget to factor in some quiet “me” time too.
Create a list of all of the challenges you are currently facing and organise it in order of priority. This will help with the next step.
By creating this list, hopefully you will already be able to see what is worth your concern and what is out of your control.
Facing challenging times can be stressful however it is important to take stock of what is important. In order to regain focus, it is crucial to ask yourself some questions. Namely, are you facing something that you can change?
If you cannot change something, try not to dwell on it and instead breathe and take it in your stride.
You will not be able to prevent bad things from happening over things you cannot control. However, you can control how you react. It is a hard truth to face, but the truth nonetheless.
It is wise to recognise that sometimes you can only control your effort and your actions. You will be much more effective by focusing on the things you can control.
Stress can build up when you are constantly mulling over a situation or set of circumstances. Keeping things bottled up to yourself, or becoming obsessed with your current challenges is harmful in the long run.
While things may feel all-consuming at the present moment in time, it is crucial to remember that it is temporary. This is a period that you will have to go through to get to where you want to be.
Hopefully, you have found this post to be helpful and are now more equipped to manage your big life changes. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say so leave me a comment and let me know what challenges you are currently facing.
Until next time…