Life Transitions

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Struggling with Adjusting to a Change?

Change is inevitable in life. But that doesn't always mean that adjusting to them is easy. Human beings tend to want to maintain a state of homeostasis. We gravitate toward whats feels familiar to us, even if what feels familiar is the very thing we want to change.

Change is Hard

Change is hard. It can come with chaos, upheaval, and uncertainty. Even if a change is planned and we know what to expect, we don’t really know how we will handle the change until we experience it, especially if it is a new experience. 

Change can involve letting something go and experiencing something new. This can leave us feeling vulnerable and searching for answers on how we "should" be managing something.  Yet everyone handles situations differently, and there is no “right way.” Even changes that are expected, planned out in detail, and positive changes can leave us feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, and alone sometimes. If the change is unplanned or unwanted, well, that may feel downright traumatic. Sometimes a change that felt small, minor, or insignificant at the time can leave us feeling unsettled or stuck. Other times we may not realize that we are struggling with adjusting to a change. Or we may try to deny our experience because we believe that we "should" feel a certain way. 

Photo of a sun breaking through dark clouds over the ocean, demonstrating how change may be inevitable, and can be difficult, but counseling can help guide you through the transition.

Signs You May Be Struggling with Adjusting to a Change or Life Transition

  • Avoiding the problem or change
  • Numbing or ignoring your feelings
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Feeling stuck
  • Feeling guilty about your feelings or like you are “supposed to” feel or not feel a certain way
  • Romanticizing the past
  • Difficulty getting into a routine
  • Uncertainty about the future
  • Increased self-doubt or loss of confidence
  • Feeling easily overwhelmed
  • Increased stress
  • Increased sadness, anger, or irritability
  • Return to old habits or patterns
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Changes in appetite or eating patterns
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Relationship strain or conflict

Change Can Be Beneficial

Even difficult, sudden, or unwanted changes can lead to personal growth. It makes us stronger and more resilient, increases our confidence, and better prepares us for what life throws at us next.

With the right tools and mindset, you can adapt to change and transform into a more authentic and confident version of yourself. Sometimes, this comes naturally to us. Other times, we need more help.

Photo of water breaking onto sand, colord aqua and orange, demonstrating how change can blur the lines in life and create different transitions.

How Therapy Can Help You Adjust to Change

Just because change in life is inevitable doesn’t mean that we inherently know how to manage it every time it happens. Life transitions can be painful, challenging, and difficult, and you don’t have to deal with them alone. 

You may be:

  • Starting college or graduate school
  • Returning home after college
  • In a new relationship
  • Dealing with the end of a friendship
  • Getting engaged or recently married
  • Having a new baby
  • Going through a new stage of parenting
  • Experiencing empty nesting syndrome
  • Going through a breakup, separation, or divorce
  • Changing jobs or careers
  • Going through a move or relocation
  • Experiencing significant financial gain or loss
  • Coping with the death of a loved one
  • Taking on new responsibility

Therapy can help you build new coping skills, process your feelings about the change, gain a new perspective on your situation, and figure out new solutions. It can help you rediscover old strengths, find new ones, and restore a sense of hope and optimism as you navigate this new chapter in your life.   

Photo of blooming flowers symbolizing the newness and growth that people can experience through counseling as they undergo life transitions.