The most certain thing in life is change and as 20-something Millennials, we have to get used to it. Change can take many different forms: new University, new job experience, student exchange, or maybe a volunteering program. Whatever the new situation is, it requires us to adapt in order to survive and achieve our goals. Here are 6 ways on how we can deal with changes, especially when we are moving to somewhere new :
1. Talk to someone you love.
In order to ease the stress of the change, you need to talk to someone that knows you well. Discussing your personal distress will help you figure out the solution and how to achieve it. When you are dealing with a new situation, it is normal to need social support to help you adjust and able to get through the day. Don’t hide your feelings of distress and reach out to your loved one to reassure you that everything will be fine; you will find yourself feeling better after that.
2. Learn about the changes.
Do not wallow too much in your sadness or loneliness of being in somewhere new. Instead, try to identify the changes that make you uneasy. This will help you to know exactly where you are standing; so you know how to adjust your behaviors and attitudes. Learn about the differences; the culture of the people, the weather, and the whole environment. Learning about the phases of culture shock also can reduce your distress; you will know exactly what phases you are going through and how you can cope with each distress caused by the changes. Learn about reverse culture shock, too. In sum, educate yourself about the changes. Knowledge is power.
3. Write down your thoughts.
Writing is an excellent way to reduce stress because it makes you fully aware of what you are feeling at the moment. One study proved that writing can make the healing process faster both for physical and emotional wounds. Moreover, writing down your thoughts will help you to find a new perspective of the changes; maybe the changes aren’t that bad after all. Rather than burying your feelings, accept the fact that you are struggling with the new situation. Buy a cute new journal and write down your thoughts before you go to bed each night.
4. Find some fun distractions.
Go get yourself an ice cream and discover those traditional foods in the new city you are living in now. Be sure to eat some of the weird foods in the city, too. Try to make some new friends and let them invite you to the museums, the old buildings, the sceneries, and the places that make you forget the fact that you are struggling with change. One of the best things you can do is ask a native to show you around. They’ll introduce you to the places where people actually hang out – those will be the best places to meet people. Go find some friends that are also new to the place so you can share the struggles and discover the place together. Believe that changes can be fun.
5. Adjust to the change, but always be yourself.
It’s important to adjust to the changes, but please remember to always be yourself. You have to stick by your own beliefs, principles, norms, and how you stand up for yourself. You have to realize that adjustment doesn’t mean that you lose yourself. For example, if you don’t smoke and all the natives do, stick to your guns and refuse to start smoking. Try to deal with the changes without depending on anyone and being true to yourself. Be independent and always fulfill your needs to adjust to the changes by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help sometimes, but then learn how to fix things by yourself in any situation. If you can do this, you will survive anywhere you go.
Don’t be so hard on yourself; breathe in, breathe out. What you are dealing with right now is totally human and it’s normal. Everybody would feel the same way if they were moving to somewhere new. Little do you know, you are actually one of the bravest people; because instead of staying where you used to be, you choose to get out of your comfort zone and deal with changes. Take your time to make peace with the changes and hang on.
I know that all of those things are easier said than done, but I believe that you will find your own ways to cope with these changes. The most important thing is; don’t give up with the situation. Don’t let your distress become the reason you are not enjoying the new experience that you have. You need to hang on and be patient; because the adjustment is about a matter of time. Always know that changes are actually an excellent way for you to grow as a fully grown up person. There will always be something good in new places, you just have to look wider and closer.