How to Deal With Big Changes in Life

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At this point in my life, I would have to say I’m an old hand at moving. I’ve moved a lot in the last decade since leaving my parents’ house — within the province, within the country, and across the globe.

That being said, moving is always tough when you’ve spent longer than a couple of months in one place. It’s amazing how quickly you can develop a routine, and when that routine is hauled out from under you, it’s easy to feel a sense of longing and regret.

That feeling exists for your first move and every move thereafter, though knowing that it’s coming can help you mentally cope a great deal. I am currently in the stage of settling into my new home and new town after moving from the east coast of Canada to the west, and while things are still quite hectic (I arrived less than a week ago), let’s take a few minutes to carve out a quickie guide to get you through your next move.

Take your time

It’s easy to make a plan to get everything you need and set everything up on your first weekend in a new place, but don’t make the mistake of running yourself into the ground. Moving is exhausting. Leaving part of your life behind is exhausting. What you really should be doing is giving yourself a break.

Exhaustion makes it a lot tougher to deal with change and stay positive. And it’s very possible that you will feel some regrets and miss your old routine. The best thing you can do is space things out, allow yourself time to relax, and acknowledge that exhaustion may be clouding your vision.

Explore your new home

The best way to stop missing your old home is to get out and really start to appreciate your new one. Sure, it was comforting when you had a list of your favourite hikes, restaurants, etc. ready to go, but this is an opportunity to experience things for the first time, expand your horizons, and potentially find something that you love even more. A new list of favourites will emerge before long.

Keep in contact

The last few years I’ve really grown attached to the sentiment of missing people, not places.

This is something that is not easy to get around — leaving people behind will inevitably lead to some sadness. But being in the same room as someone physically is not the only way to maintain a relationship. Sure it takes more effort to keep in touch when there is distance involved, but making that effort will make your transition a lot easier and take away some of that feeling of longing.

Acknowledge the negatives and trust your past decisions

Your brain can definitely trick you into remembering the past as being more positive than it actually was. It’s a coping mechanism to help you forget the more negative experiences you’ve had in life. Acknowledging this helps remind you that everything wasn’t perfect before you moved and you had a reason for your move. You were in a clearer frame of mind when you made the decision — you knew it would be tough and you did it anyway. Trust that it was all for a good reason, even if those reasons seem insignificant in this moment.

Focus on your own growth

Big changes give you the opportunity to make a project of yourself, to reflect on where you’ve been and where you’re going. This is a time to focus on creating new routines that help you bridge the gap between who you are and who you want to be. Set goals and intentions, get centred in your own mind and all the external stuff will follow.

Take the opportunity to be healthy, learn something new, start waking up early, meditate, try a new sport, pick up an old hobby — pick something you’ve been putting off really investing yourself in. Think of this move as the fresh start you needed to build your life back up in a different way.

How do you deal with big life changes? 

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