3 Ways to Cope with New Beginnings Without a Loved One
New beginnings can be hard when a loved one is no longer with us to share them. Whether it’s going to college, the seasons transitioning, moving, changing jobs, or the Jewish New Year—these beginnings can be especially difficult during the grieving process and even after. While they offer second chances with potential opportunities, they can be mixed with heartbreak over the memories of previous times. This can also leave us feeling a bit anxious and out of control.
Often what makes a new beginning so difficult is that we don’t know where to actually begin. Here are three ways to cope with life changes without a loved one.
- Understand you are equipped to do this
It’s important to remember that wherever you go, whatever you do—there you are. You are not starting with a blank page after a loss. You are starting with resources of friends and family around you as well as within yourself. You’re carrying all the knowledge and experience learned throughout your life to help you survive and begin again. So, remind yourself: I have everything I need to start anew.
If you’re not sure where to start, take inspiration from this quote by professional tennis player, Arthur Ashe:
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
- Attempt new beginnings on your own terms
No matter the change you’re tackling, make sure to face it on your terms and not the influence of others. We all grieve in different ways and different time frames. There is no deadline to be ‘over it’ and move on. Don’t feel you need to apologize for taking the time you need to process your grief.
A key step during this new beginning is to treat yourself with compassion, practice self-care, and be kind to yourself. This can help you face life transitions, knowing you are on your own unique path and dealing with it the best you can. It also helps to surround yourself with inspiring people who support you with the decisions you make and actions you take along your path.
- Incorporate new traditions with old
Finding ways to include your loved one in your new beginning can bring comfort. Perhaps you blend a once-shared ritual with this new start, listen to their favorite uplifting music to feel like they’re beside you, encourage yourself with words you’d know they’d tell you, or write a letter to them about your new journey.
Moving on with your life doesn’t mean forgetting someone you love. We take them with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Creating new traditions that include their memory and honor them, and the life you had together, can help you cope with change. It’s also important to understand that rebuilding your life without a loved one is not betrayal. They would want you to be happy. Incorporating them into new beginnings in healthy ways can be key to your healing.
Embracing new beginnings are challenging especially as they often come after sad endings. Change is hard after losing someone, even when that change is good for us. However, we all know that change is a constant in life. Without it we cannot heal, grow, and thrive. Know you have the ability within you to survive new beginnings. Getting help can aid in your journey whether it’s through meditation, encouraging friends, counseling, or a support group. You have all you need to begin where you are.