Life Changes

Some things happen the same way every day:
  • You get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast
  • You go to school or work
  • You go home, eat dinner, and do something for fun
But sometimes things change.Sunflower
Changes can be:
  • Small (like going a different way to work)
  • Or big (like moving)
  • Some changes can make you happy.
Today, maybe you’re happy because:
  • The sun is shining
  • You are having pancakes for breakfast
  • Your best friend is coming to visit
  • Everyone at work is smiling and laughing
  • Some changes can make you unhappy.
Today, maybe you’re sad because:
  • You can’t find your favorite hat
  • The bus is late
  • Your friend is mad at you
  • You didn’t get a letter from your father
  • Your favorite TV show isn’t on
  • Big changes also happen in life.
Big life changes can:
  • Make you sad, mad, or angry
  • Change the way you feel for a long time
  • Make you sick (if you let them)
Some big life changes are good for you, but they can still be hard to deal with.

What are some big life changes?
  • Moving to a new home
  • Changing jobs
  • Getting hurt or sick
  • When someone you love dies
  • When a friend doesn’t want to see you anymore
How do you know if a change in your life is a big one?
  • You think about it all the time. Woman putting blanket on man
  • It makes you very sad, worried or upset.
  • You sleep a lot or not very much.
  • You eat too much or too little.
  • You don’t want to do things you usually enjoy.
What can you do about it?
  • Talk to someone about your feelings.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Learn ways to relax - like deep breathing.
  • Spend time with friends.
  • Try a new activity.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol.
When a loved one dies:

This is a very big life change
You may;
  • Feel very sad for a long time
  • Feel weak or tired all the time
  • Have trouble sleeping and eating
  • Want to be alone
  • Have trouble doing every day things
Happiness Ahead signIt takes time to feel better.
When a loved one dies, most people feel:
  • Sad or angry for months or even years.
  • Then they start to feel better.
  • It helps to talk about your feelings.
What if you don’t start feeling better?
  • Talk to a counselor.
  • A counselor can help you find ways to feel better.
  • Join a support group with other people who are going through big changes.
  • In a support group people listen to each other and share ideas about how to feel better.
  • You can call your doctor.
    • Call your doctor if you:
    • Cry all the time
    • Feel sad, mad or afraid all the time
    • Feel like hurting yourself
    • Your doctor can help you feel better.
  • Sometimes, doctors give people medicine that helps them get through a big life change.
    Remember, it takes time to get used to a big life change.
It helps to talk about your feelings.
  • Ask friends, family, or a counselor for help.
  • Do things that make you feel good - like spending time with friends.
  • Do things to relax – like deep breathing.

Learn more ways to deal with big life changes.
Help for the Hard Times:  Getting Through Loss by Early Hipp. (1995, Hazelden: Center City, MN)  This book is written in plain language and uses pictures and words.
Last updated on April 2nd, 2010
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