The new year is about fresh starts and new opportunities. It’s a time of possibilities and potential. But new situations can be stressful.

A new school or workplace, a new city or even country: we have all experienced new situations that stressed us out.

With four continents, different careers and extensive travels under my belt, it might seem like I’m at ease with change. But though I thrive on new environs, I’m also an introvert who could happily spend every night (I mean every night) reading on the couch with Spotify and a glass of red for company.

So when there is a lot going on, these are my top 4 tips I use to stay happy and sane:

1. Find your ritual

When there’s a lot of new stuff going on, I make sure to stay grounded through ritual – whether it’s yoga stretches every morning, cooking fresh food, or a daily 10am cup of coffee while I read the Guardian news app. Ideally, make your ritual something that relaxes your mind and nourishes body and/or soul.

2. Reflect on your values

Our values are one of the most stable aspects of our lives. Priorities can and should shift – but our values define something deeper.

Try this quick exercise: spend 10 minutes writing about a time when a particular value you hold has positively affected you. Doing this connects me with something deeper than the superficial situation I’m going through.

3. See the positives

It’s the day before you start a new job, and you are wondering what the hell you’ve gotten yourself into. What were you thinking? The old job wasn’t THAT bad! etc. Nerves can make us doubt our decisions. Writing down a few of the benefits of the change (new opportunities to learn, more money, better location, interesting challenges) can help remind us that change is not only inevitable, it’s beneficial.

4. Ask for help

Find someone to talk about stress that arises from a new situation – your partner, a friend, maybe a stranger you meet at a party who has been through something similar. Sharing the stressful experience and getting reassurance and perspective can really help. Don’t be afraid to ask.

If you’re going through major change, life coaching can be incredibly helpful. Curious? Contact me to book a free, no obligation introductory session now!