No matter how hard we may try to avoid stress, there will always be events in life that put us to the test mentally. These tend to be big events that cause a major change to our lives. Below are some of the most stressful life events that many of us face – and how you can make them a little less stressful.
The death of a loved one
Losing a loved one is always very traumatic. On top of the emotional stress, you may have to deal with the stress of organizing their funeral, sorting through their belongings and handling their estate. It’s important to have other people around you to help and offer support. These could be other loved ones or professional advisors who may be able to help with aspects such as selling their property or distributing their funds. There are also low-interest lenders and charities that may be able to offer financial support if you don’t have enough money to arrange a funeral. There’s little you can do to prepare for the loss of a loved one in advance other than encouraging loved ones to write a will and possibly take out life insurance (it may not reduce the emotional stress, but it will help take away the financial stress).
Most people experience a breakup or divorce. These tend to always be stressful events – even when the breakup is mutual. Divorce can be particularly tough because it requires a long legal process. In cases where the breakup isn’t amicable, you may have to fight your partner in court for ownership or property or even custody of your kids. You can reduce the stress by surrounding yourself with the right support and by treating your ex-partner with respect in order to make the process as painless as possible (doing things to get back at them could just trigger a cycle of revenge and make the breakup all the more stressful).
Moving home is usually an exciting process, but it can also be very stressful. On top of moving all your possessions, there could be a lot of legal paperwork and hidden costs to deal with, as well as the stress of settling into your new home. As with other big events listed here, a great way to reduce the stress is to get a helping hand. This could include hiring movers or getting friends to help you with the move. Taking the time to pack early and taking a few days off work to focus on the move can also help to reduce the stress.
Starting a new job
Starting a new job can also be very stressful. While the interview tends to be the most nerve-wracking part, settling into a new job can also come with its challenges, even if you may feel a rewarding sense of accomplishment. The key is to not be afraid to ask questions to whoever is training/onboarding you and to keep your personal life relatively unbusy (the first few weeks of a new job can often be quite tiring, so you need to give yourself time to rest).
Becoming a parent/carer for a loved one
Having to suddenly be fully responsible for another human being can also be very stressful. Many new parents aren’t prepared for the stress that comes with having a newborn, while having to suddenly look after an elderly/sick parent or spouse can also be tough. It’s important to schedule time for yourself – even if it means having to hire a babysitter or carer. Establishing a routine early can also make looking after a baby or caring for a loved one a lot easier.