How to Deal with Big Life Changes in a Healthy & Active Way

by kellylavieri on March 28, 2016

How to Deal with Big Life Changes in a Healthy & Active Way

Here is the funny thing about being in your forties and fifties. Life’s just coasting along great, predictable, everything under control. And then BAM. Teenagers! Menopause! Aging parents! These are the huge life changes that can happen to us, and those are just the ones we can predict. When life throws you a curve ball, it can be difficult to process it in a healthy way. But by learning active and effective coping mechanisms, you can reduce the stress and adapt to the changes. Here are my 5 favorite ways to stay on the healthy track when life throws you a curveball:

  1. Exercise
    Well, this one seems obvious. But the reality is that when you are under a tremendous amount of stress and things are changing all around you, it can be easy to put physical activity on the backburner. This is a huge mistake. Even ignoring the physical benefits, taking some time to exercise will simply give you a break from the stresses of life. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy! Put on some headphones and go for a walk or run. How about a yoga class? Or even dancing around the house. This will release endorphins that make you feel good and reduce your stress level at the same time.
  2. Recognize the things that don’t help
    It is easy to fall back on bad habits when trying to process a huge life change. If you were a smoker in the past, it might be tempting to light up a cigarette. Or maybe head out to the bar for a few drinks or grab an eat an entire carton of ice-cream. Although these activities can bring extremely short term relief, they can be very detrimental to your physical and emotional health in the long run. By recognizing them, you can avoid them, which in the long-run you will be thankful for.
  3. Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
    One of the worst habits you can fall into is letting your healthy diet slip and start to indulge in fast food too often. Yes, it is convenient and easy to buy. But generally, fast food is incredibly high in sugar, fat, and salt while often lacking the nutrients that you need. Proper and healthy eating is more important than ever when you are under stress. Nutritious meals throughout the day will keep your energy level up and make everything just a little easier to deal with. Outside of your diet, huge life changes can prey on your mind and make getting a good night’s sleep difficult. Few things make stressful situations worse than being exhausted. Cutting back on caffeine and making sure that you have a regular bedtime routine can help combat insomnia to ensure you are ready and rested to face a new day.
  4. Ask for help
    We sometimes feel that we need to handle everything ourselves. Although we MIGHT be able to shoulder that entire burden, why should we when we can ask for help from our friends and family? Talking to friends about these huge changes in your life can help put them in perspective. Maybe your friends are going through something similar and you can help each other! Keep your family and loved ones in the loop and don’t be tempted to cut them off. Their love and support can make an unbearable situation into something that you just might be able to get through.
  5. Accept that you can’t change everything
    Things change and that is scary. It is also a fact of life, it’s what happens when time passes. You need to accept that somethings are out of your control and will happen no matter how hard you fight against them. People get sick, children grow up. Things are constantly changing all the time and it can be hard to keep up. Take stock of the things in your life that you can change and improve, and try to accept the things you can’t. At times when you are dealing with huge life changes, it might help to keep in mind that life goes on and you are strong enough to handle it!

 

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