Navigating Tough Life Changes: A Mini-Guide

August 12, 2023

Image via Unsplash

Life isn’t always sunshine and roses. Every once in a while, you’re faced with a life transition that turns your life upside down and, possibly, you inside out. The truth is you can’t control everything or prevent bad things from happening. But that doesn’t mean you’re helpless or doomed – far from it. You can be resilient, be kind to yourself, and make it through this crisis in one piece. Things will get better. 

Below, By My Side covers some common – and frequently traumatic – life changes and offers some advice on how to cope:

1. Death of a loved one

Losing someone you love can be incredibly painful and challenging. You will likely experience a great deal of grief and possibly have your day-to-day life disrupted. You won’t make peace with the loss overnight. Allow yourself to grieve. Take it one step at a time. Focus on just getting through the day. Cherish the memories you have of your loved one. They’d want you to live and be happy, so do just that.

2. Dealing with a chronic illness

If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition or similar, you know it’s not going to get better anytime soon. The recovery journey can be arduous and require many sacrifices (from you and your loved ones). There are many people in the same boat as you who still manage to live fulfilling lives regardless of their illness. Many even go on to beat their conditions. You could take a page from their book and do what they do. The University of Wisconsin shares one such inspiring story.

3. Losing a job

Losing a job is never easy. You lose your income and also possibly your work connections, not to mention experience a career setback  – but it’s by no means the end of the world. People commonly end up finding better jobs afterward, and so will you. You can use the opportunity to brush up on your skills, make new connections, and find a better job!

4. Losing a significant relationship

When someone significant to your life exits it, it can affect everything from your self-esteem to your lifestyle and everything in between. Allow yourself time to feel the loss. Gain closure and try to heal yourself. Talk to your loved ones and lean on your support network. Do things you enjoy, and think about the future. You will get through this. 

5. Starting a new business

Starting a new business comes with a great deal of uncertainty. You have to burn the candle at both ends trying to make it work, not to mention possibly managing debt and your various stakeholders. Looking after yourself is important to prevent burnout. Working with professionals, building up a support network, getting mentored, and learning from other business peoples’ success can help you thrive.

Work on improving your mental health   

Excellent mental health will help you get through any crisis with flying colors. You can pursue activities to bolster your mental state. Some good examples are listening to music, reading, getting more sleep, exercising, playing with animals, and practicing gratitude.

Gardening is an extremely effective activity for maintaining your mental health. It’s good exercise, helps bust stress, and makes you naturally happier. Gardening is pretty easy to get into too if you’re a beginner. To get started, you can consult online resources like Home Garden Hero for in-depth product reviews and expert gardening advice.

Consider finding a new job

Your job has a big impact on everything from your lifestyle to your happiness levels. Changing to a new job or career – the one you’ve always wanted – could help keep your mind off of the negative life event, move you in a positive life direction, and just make you happier.

Finding a new job isn’t hard if you prepare properly. Having a polished resume, accompanied by a solid cover letter, maximize your chances of landing an interview. To write a great cover letter, research the company you’re applying to, mention referrals or connections you have to the company, and use clear and succinct language. Consider this option.

Be on the lookout for signs of trauma

Not all transitions are equally hard. Some events can significantly damage your physical, emotional, mental, financial, and even spiritual well-being – and even cause mental imbalances like anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and PTSD. If you experience heavy symptoms like traumatic flashbacks, feeling constantly on edge, avoidance, and emotional numbing, you could be traumatized.

Trauma comes in many types and grades, which Talkspace can explain further. While non-acute trauma can be self-diagnosed, extreme trauma can erode your self-awareness and cause you to dissociate from yourself and the world around you. If this is you, you mustn’t isolate yourself and get help immediately.

Do you have PTSD or are struggling in general? Get assistance

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified mental health professional if you’re struggling. Remember – seeking help for your mental challenges is a sign of strength and not weakness. Talking to a compassionate therapist about the pain you’re going through can make everything more manageable. You’ll receive practical strategies and, sometimes, medicines to help you cope.  By My Side offers compassionate therapy online.


Your mindset is key to navigating through a major life transition – of whatever kind – successfully. You have many things to be grateful for. You have to remain optimistic, try to find the silver lining, and not be too hard on yourself. You can use negative events to make positive, lasting changes in your life.


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