On Friday I flew home from Canada and wrapped up the loveliest week with my boyfriend, Peter. On Saturday I packed up the remaining tidbits of my life in my old apartment and began the process making it squeaky clean. On Sunday I turned in my keys, said goodbye to my old home, and moved to my new home (a condo with my childhood BFF). Today I went to work for the first time in 10 days and now I am sitting on a new-to-me bright red couch, drinking pumpkin beer, and eating white fudge covered oreos.
My life is good. Beyond good, really, but I can’t help but feel sad.
I miss my old home. I miss my sister’s puppy, Louis, who I snuggled with every night. I miss the way my bedroom was arranged and the routine I had driving home from work.
Change is hard and it comes with a lot of mixed emotions.
So I’m slowly learning how to accept these feelings and cope with the transition. This is what I’ve learned so far:
Feel the Feelings. When you’re going through any kind of change or big life transition, you are going to feel a lot of feelings and that’s okay. I’ve been sad every single day for the past two weeks, just thinking about moving. But I think the important part to remember is that once you feel the feelings, it’s easier to let them go. Plus, it’s healthier, emotionally, to let yourself grieve and go through the entire process, rather than just shoving all those feelings aside and pretending everything is fine. You’ll eventually want to punch someone in the face if you do that.
Do a Brain Dump. Looking at the big picture of a change and seeing every single task that must be completed can be incredibly daunting. It helps me to do a “brain dump” or make a list of all the tiny thoughts floating around in my head. This way, I can stop worrying that I’ll forget to call the electric company or mail in my water bill. Everything is written down in one place and I can finally breathe again.
Do One Small Thing. Once the brain dump is complete, it’s best not to stress about everything you just wrote down. I mean, the point of this whole process is to relieve stress, right? It’s okay if you don’t accomplish it all today. Even just doing one small thing will mean a tiny step of progress in the right direction and that’s something to celebrate.
Remember the Good Stuff. Of course change is stressful and overwhelming and no fun for anyone. I get that. But I also know that being a Negative Nellie all the time doesn’t help anyone. So try to express some gratitude and be thankful for the good things in your life. I’m sure there is something. Yummy bagel for breakfast? Check. Awesome workout this afternoon? Good job! Favorite episode of Dawson’s Creek? Do it.
And that’s how I’ve handled these last few weeks. What about you?
How do you cope with change?
Photo credit: kalexanderson