Dealing with Big Life Changes

Mountains

You may have noticed it’s been a long time since my last post. Big changes have occurred in my life and now inspired me to share what I learned.

What do most people consider a big life change?

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth
  • Illness
  • Death
  • Job Change
  • Location Change
  • Home sale
  • Home purchase
  • Family crisis

 

Sometimes multiple changes occur at the same time and multiple people are involved. That means a lot of stress that can put your health and relationships at risk. If you are experiencing big life changes you probably have a lot of things you need to coordinate and a lot of people you are going to need to work with.

My recommendation is to do two things:

  • Be the coordinator – be the person to organize and guide everyone through the process
  • Be calm– don’t let emotion take control and be the stone that reduces everyone’s stress

This may seem like a lot to take on, but what I’ve learned is if you focus on coordination, your process will happen smoother and faster, and there will be no time to stress out! So really, the key to surviving big life changes is to be ORGANIZED!

Here are tips to organize:

MAKE A LIST – The minute you know changes are coming, drop everything and make a list of all the tasks you can think of that need to be done. From that list, create a new one rearranging them in priority or chronological order. Leave space so you can write notes on each one. Those notes should include further break down of what to do for each task including the people involved and their contact information. Add deadlines if you have them. Now………keep this list with you at all times!

SET REMINDERS – Deadlines and availability is going to drive when some tasks can be done. I like to put reminders in my smartphone or schedule a meeting in my Outlook. You can even schedule tasks that don’t have timelines just so you don’t forget to do them.  You can also divide up your tasks to complete a couple a day so you don’t get overwhelmed.

DELEGATE – To keep from getting overwhelmed, delegate tasks to other people. This will do two things. It will reduce your stress and will give another person something to focus on rather than dwell on the change.

DON’T WORRY – Don’t worry about ‘what if something goes wrong’, use that energy to make sure it goes right! Realize something will go wrong at some point, but rather than focus on what went wrong, focus on fixing the issue. Don’t dwell. Also, don’t take a firm stand. Is taking a firm stand on a position going to gain you anything? For instance, the bakery ran out of your favorite flavor for your wedding cake last minute. Is it really going to destroy the wedding? Keep everything in perspective. The point is not to have perfection, it’s to survive the situation with as few bumps and bruises as you can.

GIVE UP THE SMALL STUFF – There are things you enjoy doing in your everyday life and things you feel are required but probably aren’t. In order to make it through big life changes, you probably will have to give some of it up for a while. This will give you the added time required to complete what needs to be done without feeling overwhelmed. My blog, for instance, had to be put on hold for my life change. I could have chosen to continue, but it would have added too much on my plate.

TIME FOR EMOTION – There is a time and a place to mourn, to enjoy, or to be excited. You don’t have to emotionally shut yourself off during this process but wait until the time is right. Make it on your terms so that it is not disruptive for you.

I hope this is helpful. Once you have all of this seeded in your mind, you will have created a survival guide to simplify your path to life change. You will be the stone that everyone turns to and may surprise yourself at how calm and low stressed you can be. It can be a confidence builder and you might even come out of your life change experience a better person.