By Lori Oberacker, MS, LMHC
Are you struggling to cope with recent changes in your life? Has the loss of a loved one left you feeling sad, lonely or confused? Perhaps you’ve transitioned to a new role – getting married, new motherhood, blending families. Are you dealing with relational conflicts, divorce, career changes, financial stress, empty nesting, aging parents, grief or retirement? These significant life changes can all cause distress, anxiety or depression. Changes and transitions are a natural part of life. Sometimes changes are welcomed and expected, or even exciting. Other times changes are unplanned, which can make you feel anxious. No matter how it happens, changes and transitions can be difficult. And for many, it can be hard to accept and cope with changes and move through life’s transitions.
Why is change so difficult?
It’s normal to find change difficult to manage. When you experience changes or transitions in life, you’re letting go of what’s familiar and moving toward something new. Such moves can be stressful, regardless of whether they are positive or negative, planned or unexpected.
Stress can affect you emotionally or physically. You might experience:
• Feelings of vulnerability, anxiety and uncertainty
• Muscle tension, body aches and pains, and headaches
• Disturbances in your normal eating and sleeping patterns
• Poor concentration, fatigue and loss of energy
Managing these feelings and physical discomforts can be difficult – but not impossible.
You can take many small steps to cope with, and overcome, significant changes and transitions. You cannot always control what happens, but you can begin to have more control over your reactions to what happens, as well as your outlook on new changes and transitions.
It is imperative to remember that your emotional and mental well-being is just as important as your physical health. Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign of strength. If you are having a hard time coping with significant life changes and transitions, it might be time to seek professional help.
Lori Oberacker is a licensed psychotherapist at the Community Christian Counseling Center. She specializes in clients who are coping with significant life changes that cause depression and anxiety. Call to schedule an appointment with Lori today.
Lori Oberacker, MS, LMHC Clinician
Community Christian Counseling Center