I think it is safe to say we have all seen a large amount of change throughout this year. On a global, national, local, and even individual level, 2020 has brought about a lot of change. Even though change is something which is inevitable, the uncertainty of it can cause many people to do their best to avoid it. It makes sense why people try and stay away from change, but if I’ve learned anything over the course of this year, it is that sometimes change is going to happen whether or not we want it to. Because of this it is crucial we learn to adapt to change in order to improve our mental health and make us become more resilient.
There are a few different things we can all do to help yourself cope with change.
- Realize what you can and cannot control – This is much easier said than done. But if you can practice this during times of change, it can be incredibly beneficial. Throughout this year many of the big changes in our lives have been completely out of our control. So yes, it has been natural to worry about the state of our world and country but knowing for the most part a lot of the change happening is not in our control can help ease some of that anxiety. Asking yourself a question like, “What can I do in this situation to help make it better?” can also help improve your feelings of uncertainty.
- Practice self-care – Any amount of change can be difficult to deal with especially if you are making some sort of transition in your life. As you are going through certain changes or transitions it is so important to continue practicing self-care. Your feelings are valid no matter what you are going through, so take time to process those emotions and practice positive coping skills.
- Be aware of your thought patterns – Our thoughts are very powerful. Whether or not we realize it the thoughts we have impact our actions and emotions. In times of change do your best to shift your mindset from negative to positive.
- Try to view change as a new opportunity, even though it may be filled with uncertainty – It is true that change brings about a lot of uncertainty, but if we can shift our perspective on change a little bit, it will help us to view it in a more positive light.
- How are you feeling? Check in on yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally – Make sure you are aware of how you are feeling. A lot of change in your life can bring about feelings of anxiety and stress which can even lead to physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains. Be sure to check in on yourself.
Sometimes change can become too much to handle. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed with nowhere to turn, it is important to know there is help available. Whether it would be talking with a therapist or counselor, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741-741, or calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There are options and individuals out there who care and want to listen to whatever you are going through.
Ultimately, change is inevitable in life. I’m sure I speak for almost everyone when I say that 2020 has been a year of change. But as humans, we adapt to change. So, try not to run from change, but embrace it and do the best you can with whatever changes are happening in your life. Change does not have to be a scary word, but instead hopefully it is now a word that excites you because of the possibility of growth that comes with it.
Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.