3 Ways to Stop Fearing Change

Change is an inevitable part of life, and it doesn't stop happening just because we grow older. In fact, some of life's biggest changes may occur as we age, and we need to not only be prepared for them but to stop being afraid of them. How can you face major life events such as moving out of your longtime home or leaving the workforce? Here are several ideas to help you approach your situation without dread:

  • Focus on the positive. If health, finances or an insistent spouse mean you'll be moving to a retirement community, try to focus on the good things, suggests Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, a Florida-based psychologist and clinical social worker. "Does this move mean a new adventure?" she asks. "Everybody there is "new," and there are traditions in place to welcome you." You can take advantage of activities and social events you probably don't have immediate access to in your current home, she points out. And you'll be giving up onerous responsibilities such as maintaining a pool, garden and air-conditioning system and keeping a driveway free of snow.
  • Chase your dream. Whether your retirement is voluntary or you're being laid off, consider it a chance to take some chances in your life. If you want to stay in your field, you can remain active in professional organizations, look for freelance opportunities, or start a blog. Or perhaps there's something else you always yearned to do. Want to work in a knitting store, assist in a veterinary clinic or drive a school bus? You now have the freedom to pursue those opportunities.
  • Structure your time. Keeping up a regular schedule will help reduce the impact of a major life change, and volunteering is a perfect way to do this, says Dr. Wish. Call your chamber of commerce or look at charities in town to see what strikes your fancy. Don't want to commit to a regular volunteer schedule? Offer to work at a single event. "Always include some form of exercise in your life, which will take a bite out of depression," Wish counsels. "And keep up your social ties. Make a pact with yourself that at least twice a week you'll introduce yourself. You have to push yourself."

Source: Dr. LeslieBeth Wish, www.lovevictory.com.