Change and Transition
Change is hard; whether it be the shift from high school to college, home to a dorm room, or the current, albeit slow, shift out of a pandemic-ridden world, transitions can be a massive source of stress and anxiety. As humans, we tend to resist change, scrambling to remain where we feel most comfortable—thus, today we’re going to discuss some of the best ways to manage mental health through periods of transition, and lessen the anxious burden with which they often leave us.
Take the things you love with you. Whether it be a physical or emotional time of change, it’s important to carry the things that bring you joy along the journey. If you’re an artist heading off to college, don’t leave that sketchbook in your childhood bedroom. Bringing your hobbies with you will help to ease the transition by being a taste of home, or in a less physical sense, a symbol of peace, happiness, and security. As things in our lives change, we tend to feel a sense of loss for previous chapters of our lives; having little nuggets of the past—in our favorite songs, movies, hobbies, snacks, and countless more categories—remind us that the best things about us, and about life, will always be there.
Have something that grounds you. It’s important to remember that even in times of chaos like those of transition, we must take a moment to slow down and breathe. Mental health can crumble if we let ourselves get burnt out and overwhelmed amidst the whirlwinds of change around us; thus, having a grounding activity can help to temper the mind and soothe some of the anxieties that can bubble up in unstable times. Some of the most popular—and perhaps most successful—activities for grounding oneself include meditation, yoga, journaling, and leisurely walks; if you are in a new place, taking a calming stroll can also help you to acclimate to your new surroundings, and familiarizing yourself can help relieve some of the stress and discomfort you may feel in an unknown place. Grounding oneself is a crucial part of maintaining mental health, and not becoming swept up in the tides of anxiety.
Embrace the change. One of the major obstacles to becoming accustomed to new people, places, or things is the hesitancy towards change within human nature. Yet, the most impactful way of achieving positive mental health during a period of transition is to accept it, and thrust oneself headfirst into the change. By welcoming change with open arms, we are more likely to feel comfortable in new situations, and even augment our own happiness by entering this brand new world with a positive attitude; having a good outlook on the novel road ahead is key to maintaining good mental health throughout each phase of change and adjustment.
Change is hard—being in a good place mentally during such a time is even harder. Yet, if we remember to prioritize the things that make us happy and keep us grounded, we can ride the winds of change with ease.
- Skylar Sena