No matter how much we might want it to slow down, life continues to move forward, ever-changing, ever-evolving. At times, it might feel like all you can do is keep your head above water, while life forces you to adjust again and again and again. And while many of us would wish these transitions would simply take care of themselves and leave us be, life demands our attention.
The good news is this isn’t an isolating concept. Every single human being on earth has experienced change to some extent. Perhaps it’s been a big change, like a cross-country move, a baby on the way or a marriage separation. Maybe it’s just been a smaller adjustment, like moving houses across town or buying a new car. Regardless of the type of life transition you’re experiencing, change is simply a part of life.
Some changes can be exceedingly difficult to tackle alone and can affect you in mental and physical ways you weren’t anticipating. For any kind of life transition – big, small, positive or negative – online counseling offers the tools and support needed to embrace whatever happens.
Step 1: Anticipate the change
An online counselor works with clients to tackle all aspects of a change. This includes the initial anticipation. Take a wedding, for example. Weddings are just the first step into the large life change of marriage, and this change can come arm in arm with all kinds of emotions. Talking with a counselor will help you anticipate and talk through the realities of this change (a new home, a joint bank account, a different way to file taxes, the possibility of children, a permanent new roommate). By processing thoughts and feelings ahead of time, you will experience anticipatory benefits.
First, you won’t be caught off guard by a pending life transition. It’s much easier to handle a situation when you’re mentally prepared to receive it, rather than when it shows up out of nowhere. When you know what to expect, you already have a game plan in mind on how you’re going to handle it.
Second, not all aspects of a transition can be identified ahead of time, and some life changes are entirely unforeseen. There will always be obstacles which arise from time to time. However, this is the benefit of talking to a counselor – the tools and healthy coping mechanisms they introduce you to, both before and after a change, will help you handle transitions now and for years to come.
Step 2: Receive support
From time to time, we mistakenly believe we can totally handle life transitions on our own. No matter the change, consulting with a licensed counselor proves a major upgrade over processing emotions by yourself. It might be just to vent about the difficulties of post-grad life, the concerns of moving away to college or the difficulties you’re experiencing in starting a new job. Or, it might be to process a graver situation, such as grief or trauma from an event, or a significant loss.
No matter the transition, it’s important to receive support during these times. Knowing you don’t have to handle life transitions alone, regardless of whether or not you’re capable of doing so, is important to healthily navigating a change.
For some situations, family might provide all the support you need. For other changes, it might be valuable to discuss the situation with a third party, a counselor trained in supporting people through life’s ups and downs. For example, if you’re in the process of navigating a divorce, most people in your life will hold their own opinions of the situation. Talking with a counselor gives you support in the areas you need most. You will learn to see all perspectives of a situation, gain confidence in making choices based on these perspectives and ultimately receive guidance in making the best choices for your well-being and peace of mind.
Step 3: Navigate the change, during and after
As important as anticipating a life change is, it is just as vital to properly navigate the change while it occurs.
Online counselors help clients navigate changes in a number of ways.
- Counselors will talk with you about the change, but will also help you focus on the opportunities arising from the change. Concentrating on the positive aspects will shift your overall outlook. While the negative, or hard, aspects of your life transition will obviously be processed, the primary focus of sessions will not be dwelling on these difficulties.
- Counselors will help you manage your expectations of the change. If you expect yourself to be right as rain the day after receiving life-changing news, you’re probably setting yourself up for a hard time. Counselors help you set realistic expectations in order to keep you from becoming exceedingly anxious, stressed or overwhelmed.
- Counselors can walk you through the steps of moving forward. Dwelling on a change doesn’t help, and while it’s necessary to acknowledge the way the change impacted you and made you feel, it’s also necessary to take that information and keep moving forward. An online counselor will guide you through embracing the impact of change versus avoiding it, and will provide you with the tools needed in this new stage of life.
Considering online counseling?
The convenience of online counseling services, such as those offered by Pyramid Online Counseling, provide secure, convenient sessions from the comfort of your own home. By meeting with a trained counselor via video chat, you’ll be able to discuss the nature of your life transition and receive personalized, professional counseling for anticipating whatever challenges you face. Call 533-525-3077 or reach out today to learn more about how online counseling can help you navigate life transitions.