Coping Tips For When You Feel Anxious About Change
Anxious about change? Try these coping tips
There comes a time when things get uneasy, you start to feel like something has to change, or maybe its impending changes that make you feel anxious.
It’s normal to feel anxious, change can makes us wonder how we will adjust. Maybe we have to let go of something or take something new on. And then we lay in bed at 2 a.m. and watch thoughts collide and wonder how we’ll ever make sense of it all. That’s anxiety.
It happened to me when I considered a graduate program in creative writing. We looked at the budget and thought it could work. But reality set in and not only did I realize school would have to wait, but if we wanted to have the life we wanted to live, my days as a stay-at-home-mom were numbered. Now who’s anxious? Oh yeah.
I felt saddened at first, then I began to worry. My anxious mind bombarded me with questions. Could I handle a job with fixed hours? Could I handle working for a boss again? Would I be able to learn what I wanted on my own? The questions were endless, until I remembered a few coping tips that helped me manage the anxiety.
Don’t think you’ll come up with a magic answer all at once. New phases of life, new schedules, new responsibilities, they are big deals.
You can’t just take in the Grand Canyon in one peek. You have to look at it from different angles, be near it for a while and let the bigness look you in the face. Then you can start to plan the path through.
Give yourself permission to feel a little wonky about things for a while. Don’t beat yourself up for not having all the answers right away.
Speaking of a plan, get your pen and notebook and put some concrete things down on paper.
Writing about how the change makes you feel is a good place to start. When you write, you naturally put cloudy ideas into tangible statements. I wrote more here about how journaling can be a reliable source of relief for anxiety.
Start a list. Ask yourself: What makes me nervous about this? Leave some space between each item. Then go back and ask yourself how you can address each one. Different circumstances will generate different ideas. Free write. No one is going to see this. So get silly, get honest, see what comes up, then write it all down.
Next, let it go for a bit. Back to the “Time” idea up front. Your brain can work on these things while you go do some cathartic closet cleaning or Netflix watching.
Get your body moving. Go for a walk, hit the gym (remember that membership from last New-Years-Resolution?) have a dance-off with your toddlers. Do something that gets your head out of your head and into the physical.
It’s practically cliche at this point to suggest exercise to ease your anxious mind, but it’s because it works. Give yourself a 30-minute walk, even in the cold fall weather, and you’ll feel the difference. Do it on a regular basis and you may find your need for them as emergency treatment comes less frequently.
Want more tips?
For more tips on dealing with anxiety, check this out: Five things I tell myself when anxiety creeps in:
If you’re ready to bring some healthy habits to your life to reduce stress and anxiety, check out my three-part series on a powerful morning routine to reduce stress and sign up for a FREE bonus calming meditation.