How to Cope with Life’s Changes

When we go through life changes, whether they are expected or unexpected, we still have to deal with it.

Every time we are considering making a change such as

  • Changing jobs
  • Going back to school
  • Breaking up from a relationship
  • Going back to work after being sick or on maternity leave
  • Moving

…or going through a new experience(s) (whether is expected or not) such as:

  • Having a baby
  • Getting married
  • Going to a new school
  • Losing someone
  • Getting divorced or breaking up
  • Relocating
  • Retiring

When we go through change, we are definitely going to experience lots of thoughts and feelings. Some of those may be nice and exciting and others not so much. Sometimes we tend to “deal” with the fear or confusion of facing something new by procrastinating or blaming ourselves for not being able to handle all of the changes. Then, we are likely to face others stressors as a consequence of not acknowledging that something changed or is changing. Maybe we are making random mistakes, or feeling sad, unorganized, irritable, and vulnerable among other things. The truth of the matter is that something is not right and perhaps we don’t feel ourselves.

Have you ever felt like that?

If so, maybe these little steps could help you to get out of this vicious cycle of not feeling yourself: I suggest doing this at the beginning or end of the day:

  • First, take deep breath (inhale through your nose until there is no more room for more air, hold for five seconds, then, exhale (slowly) through your mouth (repeat at least 4 times.)
  • Then, take a quick mindful look around; it is likely you will become aware of some physical changes in your surroundings, your routine, or life setting.
  • Go deeper and pay attention to your feelings. You may notice fear, happiness, worry, excitement, and sadness about what is going on. Perhaps what you notice doesn’t have a name but it is psychically comfortable or uncomfortable. Either way is OK because those are YOUR feelings.
  • Acknowledging them, even the uncomfortable feelings, will help you tremendously to cope with the effects of change.

You see, our feelings exist for a reason whether we like them or not. Can you imagine how much time we could save if instead of avoiding them, we face them?

I know, it sounds easier said than done, but knowing what you feel or how it feels helps you to be present and not to be so hard on yourself. You are facing a change and it takes time to adjust. Recognizing how we feel or even knowing that “something is not right” and is a great way start dealing with changes.

Asking for professional help, talking to others, or engaging in activities you enjoy is a great way to start adjusting and honoring what you are going through. Part of change is developing a new version of you.

Who is Carmen Gehrke?

Hello, I am Carmen Gehrke, LMHC, with Longwood Therapy LLC. I help individuals and couples heal from trauma so they can move forward with their lives.

When we feel stuck or not sure why we feel the way we do, there could be many reasons for that and my job is to help you figure that out and move forward. I believe that counseling is a process of change and empowerment in which each of us learns to honor, understand, and accept what we feel, physically and emotionally, so we can create room for change. Being “ok” doesn’t mean always being happy; it means understanding that uncomfortable feelings such as sadness or fear are equally valid as being happy or excited. It is not easy and my job is not to tell you what to do or to heal you, it is to help you heal using your own tools and to offer you additional tools to heal and grow.

I am passionate about the work I do because I believe that going through a difficult time or single experience may be difficult to accept but it is also an opportunity to acknowledge how strong we are and that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. All the opposite, it shows we care.

Through my personal and professional life I have gone through many changes, some of them I wanted, others caught me by surprise. I had the privilege to be surrounded by amazing sources of support, professionally and personally, and to be able to appreciate what it means to heal and to honor it. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience that much support.

I created my practice to reach others who are ready to make a change and perhaps are unsure how or why, but they are ready to take charge of how they feel. Going through the ups and downs of life is challenging. It is ok to have “bad” days but it doesn’t have to be like that all the time.

I recently decided to start this blog as a source of support for the ones who are feeling or felt overwhelmed with what is going on in their lives as we balance or at least try to balance the many roles we play every day as parents, providers, caregivers, spouses, children, and members of society among others.

My wish is that as you read this blog you note that you are not alone and that you find useful information on how to empower and honor what is important to you.