adjusting to change & Life transition counseling
Sarah, a 35-year-old woman living in San Diego County, recently lost her job due to downsizing in her company. She had been with the company for over a decade and had developed close relationships with her coworkers. The sudden loss of her job left her feeling lost and uncertain about her future. Sarah struggled with adjusting to this abrupt change, finding it difficult to let go of her previous identity as a dedicated employee. She became withdrawn, experiencing feelings of worthlessness and anxiety as she faced the challenge of finding a new career path. The once vibrant city of San Diego now felt unfamiliar and unwelcoming to her.
John recently went through a divorce at 50 years-old, a move he hadn’t seen coming in his earlier life. After years of being married, the end of his relationship left him feeling devastated and lonely. He struggled with the transition from being part of a couple to being single again, especially given that he was the one who moved out of his Rancho Santa Fe home and into a condominium up the street. What’s more, he was feeling completely overwhelmed by the prospect of starting over relationally. Dating apps?? He couldn’t imagine. John experienced a range of emotions, from anger and resentment to sadness and fear. He found it difficult to adjust to this major life change and constantly questioned his self-worth, leading to a decline in his mental well-being. The picturesque beaches and beautiful sunsets of San Diego, once a source of solace, now served as a painful reminder of his lost companionship.
Emma was a 25-year-old woman recently graduated from San Diego State University. As excited as she was about embarking on the next phase of her life, she also felt overwhelmed by the uncertainties that lay ahead. Emma struggled with adjusting to the change from a structured, predictable academic environment to the unpredictability of the job market. She experienced feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, unsure of how to navigate her career path and find her place in the working world. The bustling city of San Diego, which had once seemed full of endless opportunities, now felt intimidating and competitive.
Adjusting to Change & Life Transition Counseling
To quote the immortal Bob Dylan, “The times, they are a-changin!” This seems to be true no matter what phase of life we’re in — if there is a singular certainty in life, it’s that nothing is certain and change is inevitable!
Adjusting to Change & Life Transition: Defined
Adjusting to change and life transitions involves the process of adapting and responding to new situations or circumstances. It requires individuals to let go of the old and embrace the new, a process that can be mentally and emotionally challenging. Common types of change and life transitions include job loss, divorce, graduation, relocation, retirement, starting a family, or any significant shift in one’s personal or professional life.
While everyone experiences change and life transitions differently, there are some common difficulties that many people encounter. These difficulties can include feelings of loss, uncertainty, fear, anxiety, self-doubt, and a sense of identity crisis. The impact of these challenges can be even more pronounced when the transitions occur in a place as dynamic as San Diego, where the external pressures and expectations can intensify the internal struggles.
Adjusting to change and life transitions can present multiple challenges. Whether it’s the loss of a job, a divorce, or transitioning from academia to the workforce, individuals need to give themselves time and seek professional help, such as mental health counseling, to navigate through these transitions successfully. In a vibrant city like San Diego, with its diverse community and numerous mental health counseling services, support and guidance for adjusting to change and life transitions are readily available. Seeking help and taking the necessary steps towards mental well-being can lead to a healthier and happier life, regardless of the uncertainties that come with change.
Specific Steps to Take to Adjust to Change & Life Transition
No doubt, the best way to process change is with someone else’s help. That’s why we exist at Juxta, California counseling. That said, here are some steps you can take now:
- Acknowledge and accept the change: It is important to recognize that change is a part of life and that resisting or denying it will only prolong the adjustment process. By accepting the change, individuals can start the process of adapting to the new reality.
- Allow yourself to grieve: We recognize that sometimes the above is a tall order. If you could just “accept the change,” you’d already have done it, right??! When that is the case, sometimes it is because we’ve failed to realize that this isn’t a one-time decision, but a process. A part of the process of change is always grief — it is crucial to give yourself permission to mourn the loss of what was. Whether it’s a job, a relationship, or a certain phase of life, allowing yourself to grieve can provide space for healing and moving forward.
- Seek support: Connecting with others who have gone through similar experiences or seeking professional help, such as mental health counseling, can be invaluable during times of change and transition. Talking to a therapist can provide guidance, support, and a safe space to explore your feelings and concerns. In a city like San Diego, where mental health services are readily available, reaching out for help can greatly aid in the adjustment process.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being is essential during times of change and transition. Engaging in activities that promote self-care, such as exercise, proper nutrition, quality sleep, and stress-reducing techniques (e.g., mindfulness, meditation), can help build resilience and provide a foundation for adjustment.
- Keep it Real..istic: Breaking down the adjustment process into smaller, manageable steps can make it feel less overwhelming. By setting achievable goals, individuals can gradually progress and regain a sense of control over their lives. In a vibrant and competitive city like San Diego, it is important to set goals that align with personal values and aspirations without succumbing to external pressures.
- Watch out for Stinking Thinking: Developing positive self-talk and challenging negative thoughts that may arise during the adjustment process can be instrumental in managing one’s mental health. Research has consistently shown the connection between positive self-talk and mental health. For instance, a study by Scheier and Carver (2018) found that individuals who engage in positive self-talk experience lower levels of stress and improved overall well-being. Positive self-talk can significantly impact mental health, reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress (Smith, 2019).
Need some guidance with all of these? We can help!
At Juxta, California counseling, we are aren’t just expert counselors – we’re people too, which means you can expect us to be genuinely interested in you, your story, and your life. We want to get to know the real you. In our work together, honesty with yourself and us comes to characterize the entire healing endeavor. Thus, our relationship itself — that is the work.
There’s nothing else you need to do to prepare. There’s no reason to wait any longer.
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San Diego, CA