6 Life events that can cause you stressAugust 13, 2019
Everyone experiences some level of stress in their lives. Hopefully, it’s a minor blip here or there, before life settles back into a normal routine. However, there are certain life events that can bring more stress than usual.
Here are six life events that can cause stress and tips to help you cope.
Moving to a new house
As the saying goes, home is where the heart is. But when it comes to moving, home is sometimes where the stress is! From deciding where you’ll live to the reality of packing everything you own, each step in the process can be filled with stress and anxiety. It can be a stress-filled minefield and not one for the faint hearted.
Fortunately, there are ways to help make moving less stressful. Hiring a reputable, well-reviewed moving service can ease the physical burden of packing, transporting and unloading dozens of boxes. Planning ahead could also help, giving you plenty of time to work through potential issues and create a plan B in case things go wrong on moving day. Parents might also consider leaving the kids with family or a child sitter, so there’s less stress caused by having them underfoot and possibly slowing down the entire day. (The same may also be true for pet owners!)
Changing jobs or careers
Whether by choice or by force, changing careers can be a time of monumental tension. Similarly, to moving houses, it’s the unknown factors that can make this life event so stressful. Are you moving for the right reasons? Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence? What if the new job isn’t what you hoped it would be?
Often, changing jobs or careers can have a positive impact on a person’s overall health and wellbeing, making the reward worth the risk. But it’s the uncertainty that can make the prospect stressful. Before making a big career switch, it could help to discuss the idea with a trusted colleague, your mentor or your significant other. They may be able to provide useful advice, tips or support to guide you. If you’ve been made redundant, reaching out to your professional network could help ease anxiety and make your job search a bit easier.
Ending a relationship
Relationships can be stressful (even good ones), but when a relationship comes to an end the stress can really ramp up. There can be anxiety from having difficult conversations and the sadness linked to saying goodbye to someone you have become fond of. For long-term relationships or marriages, there’s the added stress of dividing assets and money, and hammering out custody agreements when children are involved.
Ending a relationship can be emotional, but the more mature and considerate you can be the less stressful you could make it. Seeking the services of an impartial mediator or couple’s counsellor could help both end your union on amicable terms. Using techniques such as meditation or yoga to manage stress may also help you keep a level head as tensions rise.
Becoming seriously ill or injured
Nobody likes being sick or injured, and when it comes to serious illness and injuries that keep us from our daily duties, the situation can be even more stressful. You may feel anxiety around needing to rely on others more than you’re used to or financial pressure if you’re unable to work. In the case of terminal illness, you may even be worried about how loved ones will cope when you’re gone.
When it come to your health, the best way to fight stress is to have a plan—just in case the worst happens. This could include taking steps like getting life insurance or adding to your emergency savings. If you’re already in one of these situations, then talking about your concerns could help. You may want to speak with a counsellor or other mental health professional who can give you coping strategies to help manage stress and anxiety.
Retiring seems like the perfect scenario doesn’t it? Time spent reading books, enjoying a walk, relaxing with a cup of tea or having the freedom to travel the world. But the reality of retirement can be different for some. If you’ve always defined yourself by your career, suddenly being without this daily structure or purpose can be stressful.
This is another time when preparation could go a long way to easing your anxiety. As you reach retirement age, you may want to test the waters by slowly scaling back work hours rather than leaving your job all at once. Setting specific goals for what you want to do or achieve after you’ve retired could also help. You may also decide to transfer work skills to a volunteer position or mentoring a younger colleague or student.
Losing a loved one
Experiencing a death in the family would cause anyone considerable stress. The sorrow of losing someone we love can be great, whether their passing is unexpected or after battling a long illness. Not only is grief a cause of stress, but planning and paying for the funeral can be a logistical nightmare too.
When a loved one dies, reaching out to family, friends and our community can bring great comfort. They’re often happy to lend a hand in any way possible to help ease your burden and stress. Grief counselling could help as well. There are also steps you could take now to help make your own death less stressful for those you love. Doing things like writing a Will, getting funeral insurance or sharing your funeral wishes could help remove some common causes of stress that people experience during this time.
Stress may always be a part of life, but having the tools to get through the tough times can make a big difference to your mental health and wellbeing. You may not be able to predict every item on this list, but understanding what to expect and taking steps now to lessen anxiety for when the time comes could put your mind at ease.