When It Feels Like You Need a Big Change

When It Feels Like You Need a Big Change

There was an anonymous post in a group I belong to that I’ll be thinking about for a long time. A member basically said they hated everything about what they were doing for a career and needed out. It broke my heart to see someone in a place where a big change seemed like the only option.

Whether a big change is right or wrong in this situation is irrelevant at this point. There is something much bigger going on and that needs to be addressed.

Your mental state

That feeling of being stuck is a hard one. But I know it feels even worse when I am in a depressive state. At that point, I can only see my current situation as a forever situation. There is no way of getting out of this because I’m incapable of planning an escape. So I’ll just be here forever.

If you feel like you’ll be stuck forever where you are, my biggest question would be about your current mental state. You are probably not capable of figuring out exactly what that mental state is. Instead of crashing your life because you are feeling stuck, start with seeing a mental health professional. In many cases, mental health professionals are booked up because so many of us are feeling depressed and burnt out right now. I’m lucky because my general practitioner is great with helping me figure out if my mental health needs a little something more than I can give it. So if you are unable to get into a mental health professional, schedule an appointment with your general practitioner instead.

And if you’re questioning whether you should see a professional, book that appointment. If the question is even in your head, it means it’s time to be evaluated.

Get to neutral

Before making any big change, it’s so important to make sure you have gotten your mental state back to neutral. When it’s not, we are so much more likely to do something that in the end is not great for you.

For example, let’s say you are struggling with some of the aspects of the current social media landscape, but you really love the content creation process and community building. You haven’t been protecting your mental health, so those aspects that bother you are overtaking your mental state and you can’t even see the things you love anymore. So you think your best step forward is to get out of social media altogether. But when you make that big change of careers, you find you miss that content creation process and community building, because now you are stuck in a career that has none of that.

I’m not saying that a change of career isn’t the vital thing to get you to feeling better. I just don’t think you can truly evaluate that when you are in a super depressed state. Get back to neutral first where you are capable of really looking at your situation and are able to make real plans. Your brain functions in such a better way when you are in that neutral place, so it’s worth it to get there first.

Don’t be afraid of medication

We’re getting to a better place in society where going on medication to help you handle your mental health is a much more accepted practice. But I still find people who have never been on medication to be weary of it.

The first thing to know is that going on medication does not have to be forever. It’s a crutch to get you to the next part. The last time I was on medication, it was for a year. That year of medication helped me with making decisions that made my life better. It didn’t change me fundamentally, but made it easier to deal with huge changes in my life brought on by the pandemic. It’s honestly totally normal to stay on medication for a short time to help you with a rough patch.

Another misconception I run across is people think that if the first medication doesn’t work for you then none of them will work. That’s so untrue. I’ve tried several before I found one that did what I need it to do. It’s not a great situation to be in when you’re feeling so down. But not giving up on medication too soon will get you in a far better place.

Take action on that change

Once you are confident you’re capable of making the decisions to make a big change, it’s time to take action. Is your current career no longer working for you?

You can take an inventory of what is working for you and what is not. This could give you some clarity over whether it’s the career, the particular job or something else. Whatever it is, it’s time to make a plan and do something about it.

You only have one life to live. It’s important that you do something with it that makes you feel good. You also need to be protective of your mental health. Whatever your plan is, finding ways to protect your mental health will make sure you don’t get into this situation ever again.

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