Have you ever been surprised with an unexpected change? What about one that you knew was happening? It can be a positive or negative experience, expected or unexpected. Change happens and there are so many emotions that come along with it. Change can be exciting and happy for many people, while many others find it overwhelming and frightening. Children, especially, can have a hard time managing change in their lives. The stress and anxiety that can come with change can present itself in different ways, depending on the person.

Some symptoms of stress or anxiety may include:

There are no “right” emotions to feel when it comes to change, and many of the emotions you experience may seem overwhelming. While those feelings can be a lot to manage, the task isn’t impossible.

Talking about your feelings is one way to effectively manage your stress and anxiety. It’s a skill that can be taught to your children, too. Effective emotional communication is an ability that will benefit your child for their entire life. Dr. Joseph Segeleon at Sanford Health says, “It’s really important right now to be accessible to your kids, to be available for questions. To acknowledge that they may be anxious and they may be fearful. Be reassuring and confident and comfortable. Address their concerns. Children may hear a lot of things — particularly older children.” Whether speaking with a friend, family member, or a professional, identifying and discussing the emotions that are being experienced allows you to release the mental tension that stress causes. Click here to learn more about identifying emotions with your child.

Taking extra time for yourself or as a family is another beneficial way to handle changes in your world. Give yourself the grace you deserve and know that time and some extra TLC will help you in managing your emotions. Are you feeling extra tense? Take some time to do some stretching or watch an episode of your favorite show. Self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant, something as simple as calling your best friend or taking a shower can lift your mood. For more self-care ideas during hard times, click here.

Coping with change is a whirlwind. Different changes bring on different emotions and experiences that you may not have planned for, but know that there’s no one way to go about managing your emotions when change happens. Do your best and give yourself a break.

For more resources on helping your child understand their emotions, click here.

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