6 Ways to Get Through a Big Life Transition

 

Life Transitions Title Page

Autumn reminds us that transition can be both beautiful and hard. While the fall brings us breathtaking scenery as the leaves change colour, not everyone is excited about the weather getting colder and the days getting shorter. Life transitions are like that, too.

Whether it’s moving to a new city, or adult children moving out; a promotion that presents a new set of responsibilities, or the loss of a job; big changes can take their toll on our minds, emotions, energy level, and relationships.

The good news is, there are resources to handle these challenging times in our lives. Here are six that can help anyone going through a major transition.

 1. Expect to feel unsettled and uncertain at first

Most change comes with a sense of loss if not actual loss. To move into something new, we had to leave some things behind, including a sense of security we get from a situation that is familiar. Grieving for the good aspects of what we left behind is a normal part of any major transition in life.

When left unchecked, our feelings of uncertainty and discomfort can affect the way we handle relationships and responsibilities in our lives. We might lose some sleep thinking about things, or snap at our kids, coworkers, or a loved one. Being aware of how the stress of transition is affecting our mind and mood can go a long way towards keeping our emotions in view and in check.

2. Accept and embrace the change

ross-findon-303091This is a new chapter of your life and that’s a big deal! As such, it probably feels a little scary. Even though some aspects of this new season are uncomfortable right now, we can still learn to accept our situation and acknowledge its reality. Embracing change can help us see things more clearly, preventing us from getting into a mental rut over what we wish would happen or think should happen.

3. Be curious and comforted about how God will work through this time of transition 

With every change comes a fresh start, and a new opportunity to see God’s hand in the midst of it all. This is also a chance to re-frame the transition. How do you see God’s comfort, guidance, or affirmation through this experience? What are you learning as SONY DSCGod walks with you?

4. Be patient with yourself

Change can be stressful, which means you may find yourself in an up-and-down state of mind. You will have some days where you feel affirmed in the new change and others when you regret a decision, or miss the way things were. That’s okay. It’s a natural part of the process of chance.

And change is a process. Usually, it takes longer than we expect or want before we reach a state of stability or normalcy (e.g. to feel confident in a new job, make new friends, or feel at home in a new place).

5. Take time for self care 

It can be easy to stay in action or planning mode all the time. But pressing pause on all activity will ease stress while bringing about clarity and comfort. So, schedule some time throughout the week to shut off email, work, or the phone lines. Get out in nature, spend quiet time in prayer and meditation, grab lunch with a good friend. Engage in activities that make you feel centered and grounded.

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6. Reach Out for Support

That support could come from a friend or loved one, a small group, or a professional counsellor or therapist. Find someone who will be there to listen, encourage, and provide the perspective of someone on the outside looking in.

A professional counsellor here at the Family Life Centre, Elizabeth Boom, put it this way:

“In some cases, when we’re struggling or feel overwhelmed, it helps to have supportive people around us to cheer us on in our successes and to help us find new ways to look at our situation. Counselling is a place where you can find help to grow, cope with transitions, and create strategies in finding new ways to think and live, and celebrate each new step.”

 

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Author Bio

Amy Francis

 

Amy Francis is a freelance writer and contributor at the Family Life Centre blog. www.amyhopefrancis.com

A Snapshot of Mental Health in the Canadian Workplace

eloise-ambursley-355862Imagine it’s Monday morning, and you find yourself nauseous, too weak to get out of bed, and running a high temperature. You call your workplace to explain you’ve got the flu and will be taking the next couple days off. But instead of affirming your choice to prioritize your health and ending the call, your supervisor says this:

“Everyone has their off days. You just need to push through it.”

It might sound crazy, but this is often how people with mental health problems or illnesses are treated by their coworkers, colleagues, and bosses.

The Stigma Around Workplace Mental Health

October 10 is World Mental Health Day and the theme of this year is “Mental Health in the Workplace.”

If you’ve been following the Family Life Centre for any length of time, then you’ve probably heard us talk about ending the stigma around mental health. We host certification courses twice a year that teach people how to respond to a mental health crisis or problem in youth and adults. And for good reasons.paul-bence-395888

For example, did you know:

  • Canada spends more than $50 billion annually on addressing mental health problems.
  • Mental health problems or illnesses account for roughly 30% of short- and long-term disability claims in Canada.
  • According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), mental health problems and illnesses cost Canadian employees more than $6 billion in lost productivity from absenteeism, presenteeism and turnover in 2011.

 

In a recent study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 38% of workers say they would not tell their manager if they were diagnosed with a mental health issue. Among this percentage, more than half of people worried that telling their employer would negatively affect their careers.

A major factor contributing to the stigma around mental health seems to be organizational culture. The MHCC states that 70% of Canadian employees are concerned about the psychological health and safety of their workplace. 14% don’t think their workplace is healthy or safe at all.

 

What You Can Do to Support Mental Health in the Workplacerawpixel-com-330233

Since most adult Canadians spend the majority of their waking hours at work, addressing issues of mental health in the workplace is of vital importance for individual health and our economy.

The MHCC has training tools for individuals and work teams wanting to be equipped to handle mental health problems and crises in the workplace. The Family Life Centre hosts these training courses twice a year:

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) helps employees and managers increase their awareness of the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems. It also gives participants the know-how to help if a colleague begins to experience a mental health problem or crisis.

Our next training session is happening  Friday and Saturday November 17th & 18th 2017. We are offering training for adults who interact with adults and you can sign up right now for the courses by going to our event page, here.

 

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Author Bio

 Amy Francis

Amy Francis is a freelance writer and contributor at the Family Life Centre blog. www.amyhopefrancis.com