Most of us have experienced a major life change at some point; the breakup of a long relationship, a death in the family, a big move to another home, state, or country. Many of these changes are associated with sadness or negativity, and for some people, they can even bring along anxiety, stress, depression, or substance abuse. Even the happy events–such as having a baby or getting married–can be filled with fear of the unknown and can lead to stress.

One of the best ways to get around those feelings is to use that major life transition to create positive change where you need it most. Replace bad habits and traits with good ones; use this as an opportunity to take control of your life and turn things around, if not for yourself, then for the people who love you. 

Here are some of the best ways to use that big event to make positive change in your life.

Improve your health

No matter what sort of changes you’ve gone through lately, it’s never a bad time to start thinking actively about your health–physical, emotional, and mental. Eating a well-balanced diet, getting daily exercise, eliminating stress as much as possible, and practicing self-care are great ways to start, but you should also be thinking about the way you treat your body and mind. Are you a smoker? Do you have a few too many drinks with dinner? Be honest with yourself about the things you would change if you were going to be completely healthy, and take the steps to make it happen. Reach out for help if you need to, either from a friend, family member, or a therapist/doctor.

Get organized

Believe it or not, creating a clean, well-organized home can work wonders for your mental health. Often, we don’t see the way we truly live because we’re too close to it. Step back for a moment and look at your home with the eyes of someone who has never been inside it before. Is it what you want? If not, use this transition time in your life to make changes to your surroundings for the better. De-clutter each room, rearrange the furniture, clear out all the things you don’t use or need and donate them or put them in storage. Cleaning up your home can help you feel in control of other areas of your life and build up self-confidence; for more information on how to get started, go here.

Lose those toxic people

Going through a major life change can really make you take a second look at your priorities, as well as at the people you surround yourself with. Those individuals who don’t support you, who create drama where there was none, who don’t build you up the way you do them: lose them. Cut the negative people out of your life and surround yourself with only those who wish you well and are willing to help you no matter what.

Cut out the stress

Those priorities we were talking about? They change when a big event occurs in your life, and it’s okay to just roll with it. Suddenly, all the things that seemed so important once upon a time are of no consequence, and are replaced by others. Now is the time to look at your biggest stressors and find ways to get rid of them or learn how to cope more efficiently. Practice self-care, participate in activities you enjoy, and remind yourself that life is about more than what causes us stress.

Remember that major life changes can sometimes be overwhelming whether they’re good or bad, especially if they come when you are unprepared. Reach out for help if you feel you need it and keep communication open with your loved ones in order to garner their support.

We’ve all been there! Got any advice for making the best of a major life change?

pbr