Ten Tips to Deal with Changes in Your Life

 Consultants and coaches supporting people through life changes can use these tips.

1. Acceptance
The largest and most necessary step to change is acceptance. Life events always change, and expecting and accepting that premise helps us cope more readily. My friend Louisa received a diagnosis of cancer.  Through the support of her family and friends, she coped well during the treatment sessions. All of us, who supported her healing journey, were grateful that she was not embarrassed to ask for help. She gladly allowed our small acts of kindness to ease her path. Louisa got over feeling guilty when asking for help, and I got over reminding her that I was there to support her. 

2. Learn to Shift Out of Your Comfort Zone
Does it seem that changes occur as soon as you are comfortable or set in a routine? Most likely, you don't expect a major change  if your guard is down.   

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Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

3. Talk About Your Feelings Towards Change
If you tend to let things build up inside, choose now to stop that habit. You may be a person who doesn't like to share personal feelings. Or you might be embarrassed to share them.  If the changes are at work, for instance, consider talking to your manager about the impact of those changes.  Present your concerns in a professional manner and stick to purposeful breathing which helps you feeling angry or overwhelmed. 

4. Try to Turn the Change in Your Favor
The phrase turn lemons into lemonade has widely been overused. However, it’s hard to deny the meaning of it and the impact of that meaning. If you are dealing with change, in one form or another, see what angles you can use to make it work to your benefit.

5. Keep Changes You Can Control to a Minimum
If you try to enact too many changes at once, it may overwhelm the people who are affected by them. People need time to absorb those changes and incorporate them into their lives.  Sometimes, the changes you put into place may be out of your control. However,  if you do have control over them, introducing them slowly over time helps those who affected to adjust and accept more easily. 

6. Join Support Groups
If you have been affected by changes and needed to talk to another person, then you know that we need each others' support. This is so true when death or a long-term illness occurs. Are the types of changes you experience similar to others' experiences. Would a support group help in adjusting? 

7. Trust Your Instincts
You may be forced into situations or decisions that go against what you believe.. If you find yourself in such a situation, it’s best to go with your gut or trust your instincts. If the change doesn’t feel right and you have no power to counter it, try to remove yourself from the situation. I have counseled others in tough situations, and solutions varied from changing jobs to taking time from work and seeking another person to help you clarify your vision and feelings. If you need help, seek it out. 

8. Change Can Lead to Unforeseen Opportunities
The whole point of being able to deal with change effectively is acceptance. When you start to focus on change being something that is good, opportunities have a way of finding you. These opportunities may not have presented themselves had the changes not occurred.

When It’s More Than Teen Angst: Differentiating Between Situational and Clinical Depression

"Teenagers are known for their angst and moodiness. You really can’t blame them with all that’s going on in their lives from physical changes and peer pressure to academic expectations and the formation of relationships."  Tyler Jacobison (Twitter | Linkedin

Feeling moody and grouchy once in a while is normal. Trouble begins when these feelings become more intense, persisting for weeks, months or even longer. Teen depression is an uncomfortable reality in our society and it’s up to parents to support and help their affected teens.

Situational vs. Clinical Depression

You can help your child by first identifying the difference between situational and clinical depression, their causes and treatment methods.

Situational depression (also known as adjustment disorder) occurs in the aftermath of monumental or traumatic changes in an individual’s life. In teens, situational depression can be triggered by parents’ divorce, a breakup from a romantic relationship, death of a loved one, academic struggles or even moving to a new area. Keep in mind that situational depression is temporary and things should go back to normal once the stressors are removed or your teen learns to cope with them.

In the meantime though, their symptoms are very real and are similar to those of chronic depression. They include:

  1. Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, worthlessness or hopelessness.
  2. Changes in sleeping patterns –either difficulties in falling asleep or oversleeping.
  3.  Changes in eating patterns, loss of appetite and weight changes.
  4.  Loss of interest in hobbies, studies and life in general.
  5. Persistent lethargy and fatigue.
  6. Difficulties concentrating, making decisions or remembering tasks.
  7. Self-harming or suicide attempts.

 

Clinical depression, on the other hand, is more severe and is thought to be caused by a complex mix of brain chemical imbalances, genetic factors and social situations. It causes major long-term depressive symptoms that are pervasive enough to interfere with your teen’s daily life.

Different Treatment Approaches

The treatment your teen requires depends on the type of depression they have.

Managing Situational Depression

● Urge your teen to continue pursuing their hobbies and other leisure activities.
● Also, encourage them to eat a nutritionally well-balanced diet and get regular exercise to stimulate the production of dopamine to boost their mood.
● Joining a support group or talking out the situation with close friends and relatives can also help.
● If all else fails, seek the help of a trained psychotherapist.
Managing Clinical Depression
● Psychotherapy is a crucial part of helping your teen deal with clinical depression. Get feedback on their progress to ensure that the therapist you engage is the right fit.
● Appropriate medication in tandem with therapy will provide the best outcome for your teen. The medication might be for short or long-term use depending on the diagnosis.
● Hospitalization in a psychiatric facility might also be necessary especially if your teen is self-harming, suicidal or showing signs of delusion or psychosis.

With proper coaching, parents can learn responsive parenting skills that will help them discern behavioral issues that may predispose their teens to depression as well as learn how to assist their children to get over rough patches in their lives.

GUEST AUTHOR: Tyler Jacobson is a proud father, husband, writer and outreach specialist with experience helping parents and organizations that help troubled teen boys. Tyler has focused on helping through honest advice and humor on: modern day parenting, struggles in school, the impact of social media, addiction, mental disorders, and issues facing teenagers now. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn