When we think of milestones, we normally think about the positives: how happy you are during your college graduation, the friends and family celebrating your 30th birthday, the smiles you and your significant other exchange on your wedding day, the excitement when you open the door to your new house…

What we often forget but is equally important is that some milestones—happy and sad ones—can stress out our bodies.

While it is important to celebrate milestones (such as a work promotion) and grieve others (like a breakup or divorce), you need to consider how to take care of your body during these stressful times.

Read on to learn about 3 specific milestones and how you can prevent your body from going into chaos while you are going through these transitions.

1. Moving to College

You (or your child) got accepted into their college of choice—however it is half way across the country.

Moving to college is inevitable. If you are the parent, you want your child to enjoy their college experience, but are nervous that you can’t be there to prevent your child from making the wrong choices.

If you are the college student, you are excited about the new change but, more often than not, this is the first major separation from your loved ones and what you have grown up with.

How to Deal with the Stress

Don’t ignore the stress; face it. Deep breath through the anxiety. This increases the oxygen in your body. Also, do physical activities—like jogging or a sport—to increase your endorphins and boost your mood.

While naturally you will feel stress, don’t put yourself in positions that will increase it. If you are the parent, help your child pack at least a week before the move-in date. That way, you have time to buy any necessities your child may not have. (Here is one of several college shipping services.)

2. Buying a New House

Escrow is over. Congratulations! You are going to be moving into your new house! While this is reason to celebrate, the many more steps that lay ahead can be stressful: hiring movers, packing, etc.

How to Deal with the Stress

Start making a list of everything that needs to get done. Prioritize, making items requiring immediate attention first, and then go from there.

You may feel confused that your body is stressed, especially since it is such a positive time. What you want to do when you notice your body feeling stress—going into fight or flight mode—is to focus on your exterior surrounding.

Notice the wind blowing the leaves, the birds flying in the sky, the way your hair feels on your shoulder, etc.

What you are doing is providing a minor distraction so your body can find relief. At the same time, you want to acknowledge the stress. Set aside some time in your day for mediation and/or yoga so you are on your A game (or close to it) when dealing with the moving details.

3. Getting a Divorce

Getting a divorce is one of the most stressful situations in life—a Psychology Today article even states that, for some, it is the most stressful experience they will ensure in their lives.

There may be more stress involved than in a non-marriage-bound breakup since there was a higher level of commitment. Also, if you have children, you may be worried about their health and how they are transitioning.

How to Deal with the Stress

Psychology Today recommends to join a support group, break up large tasks into smaller ones, and work towards acceptance while not ignoring the anger and sadness in your body. (If you are 65 or older, this may be a time to consider what is Medicare all about.)  

Final Thoughts

These milestones, while allowing you to turn a leaf can also increase your stress levels. Consider seeing a therapist, confiding in trusted friends and family, and staying on top of your health. What other ways can you help your body with these types of stresses? Leave a comment. 

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