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Coping with the Changes that Come with Aging

As we age, change is inevitable. Some changes are positive: becoming a grandparent, retiring from a stressful job, finding time to pursue favorite pastimes. But even these positive changes can be stressful in that they are CHANGES, and they can bring disruption, stress and uncertainty with them.

Unfortunately, many changes that are hoisted upon us as we age are not so positive. We may be faced with some limits to mobility, restrictions to driving, or loss of loved ones. These changes frequently are accompanied by feelings of sadness, fear, loneliness, confusion and, at times, anger. They all add up to a feeling of loss- loss of one’s self and one’s past.

The good news is that because of our age, we really do have many skills for facing these obstacles. We have met with many transitional challenges throughout our lives: graduation from school, birth of a child, changing jobs, loss of relationships. How we coped with those challenges can help us manage these new hurdles that we confront as we age. And if we didn’t cope with those changes as well as we might have when we were younger, now is the time to learn new ways of coping.

Coping with changes – particularly challenging ones- requires work. However, once the steps involved in learning how to cope are clearly articulated, the work actually seems simple and becomes very doable. Over the next several blogs, we will explore the facets involved in successfully accepting the changes involved with aging. Actually, in the end, we will not JUST be accepting these changes, but THRIVING due to what we have learned in the process.

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