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Living with Mental Health

New Beginnings and Old Endings

New beginnings can be scary, exciting, and emotionally charged times in our lives and naturally occur at transitions such as new relationships, the loss of someone close to us, job or house moves, or similar changes.

New Beginnings: who moved my cheese?​
New Beginnings: who moved my cheese?

As we experience something new in our lives, we often have to end something first and it can be these transitions that cause us increased anxiety and fear about what is to come.

This feeling can be steered by our level of control over the change that’s taking place; if we have chosen the ending then although the change can be challenging and worrying, we know it was our decision – it’s under our control. If the ending was chosen for us we may feel a loss of control and the new beginnings may feel terrifying.

How do you approach change? Depending on whether you embrace change as an exciting opportunity or as a scary barrier can affect the way that you approach the ending that comes before the beginning of the next chapter.

If we are looking at a relationship then our ending might be the end of our single life and the beginning is the start of the new relationship with the new partner.

If we consider a job change or promotion then the new beginning is the new job role but it comes with an ending of our previous job which we may have loved, or at the very least we were comfortably used to it – we knew what was expected of us.

Change is inevitable in our lives and emotional responses are natural and expected. If you feel angry, afraid, confused, impotent, overwhelmed – don’t fight the feelings. Observe and accept them – give them a set amount of time if you need to. Let the feelings pass and then you are ready to move forwards, you are ready to take action.

If you find yourself with feelings of panic, try simple exercises such as square breathing to help you move past the moment.

Often we seek the new beginnings but we are afraid to let go of the past. We have to work on ourselves and with the support of the professional and voluntary organisations around us, we can embrace the change as the necessary step to achieve movement towards our goals.

This article was last updated: 3 May 2021