Managing Changes While Recovering From a Mental Illness

October 10, 2023 Michaela Jarvis

One thing life guarantees is that there will be changes in recovery. As fall rolls in, I've reflected on all the changes that come with a new season (temperature, holidays, sunlight, etc.) Life is full of changes, whether environmental (like the seasons), personal, or professional. Changes are difficult for anyone but can be especially difficult for those recovering from a mental illness. So, during change, I ask myself, "What can I do to find a sense of stability and handle my anxiety?"

Acknowledge Your Feelings Toward Change in Mental Health Recovery

So, how is change manageable when life feels so inconsistent? The most important thing for me is to acknowledge my emotions with complete honesty. During big life events, I tend to dismiss my feelings, often feeling guilty for any negative emotions I may have. Letting emotions fester and accumulate makes me more anxious and stressed. It isn't healthy to let those emotions build up and go unnoticed. 

When I acknowledge my own emotions, it makes it easier for me to express them to others. My support system is one of the biggest keys to how I manage change. By leaning on my support system, I feel less alone.

Big Changes in Recovery and the Small Things that Don't Change

Large changes in recovery can be especially overwhelming. For me personally, I'm preparing for a move across the country. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with how many small changes this big change will bring. I will have a new room, schedule, time zone, etc.

Lately, I've been reflecting on what will be the same. I will still get to see my cat every day. I can spend my evenings doing one of my favorite activities: reading. I will still be able to call a friend. A move brings so many new experiences, but there is a certain level of comfort in remembering the things that will not change, especially the things that help me cope while recovering from my mental illness in my day-to-day life. 

Find the Positives of Change During Recovery

Another tool I use to manage change is practicing positive thinking. Every change brings new opportunities. For me, moving means new friends, coffee shops, and parks. The more positives I can identify, the more I'm able to embrace the part of me that is excited instead of scared. Thinking positively is essential for combatting my own anxiety.

Change is hard; it's undeniable. When recovering from a mental illness, change can seem even harder, but there are ways to make it more manageable. By being truthful with yourself, being communicative about your feelings, and identifying opportunities, change can be easier and, sometimes, even enjoyable.

APA Reference
Jarvis, M. (2023, October 10). Managing Changes While Recovering From a Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 16 from

Author: Michaela Jarvis

Michaela Jarvis is continuously on her road to self-improvement while managing bipolar disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the life challenges that come with being in your 20s. Find Michaela on Instagram, LinkedIn, and her website.

Leave a reply