Written by Emily Reich.
Bob Dylan once said that “there is nothing so stable as change". Yet it is something that many people struggle with, in spite of its ubiquity. This challenge is understandable. It is natural to be wary of the unknown and to find comfort in routine. However, some changes are inevitable and change can be a source of opportunity and growth. There are many different kinds of changes—some are exciting, such as a new job or moving to a new home, some are difficult, such as adjusting to loss or a relationship ending, and some can be bittersweet, like graduating college. Regardless of the kind of change you are adjusting to, it is good to be prepared.
Here are a few helpful tips for dealing with change:
1. Do not deny that the change is coming.
Unfortunately, the impending change is unlikely able to be willed away. An important step toward coping with change is accepting that it is happening. Observe and acknowledge the differences you are experiencing. Being aware of the circumstances will help you start the path toward coping with change.
2. Develop a plan.
After coming face to face with the change, it is time to come up with a strategy. It can be easy to slip into a passive role where things simply happen to you, especially when the change is difficult or outside your original expectations. There are ways to have agency and take an active role in any situation. Try making a list of the things you have influence over, identify priorities, and take action. You may begin to feel some comfort once you see yourself as a part of the process.
3. Take care of yourself.
Even positive changes can take extra energy and emotions out of us. Maintaining a consistent self-care practice will help keep your battery charged and helps you to deal with challenges with more ease. Identify activities that give you energy or peace or that bring you joy. Try to find ways to work them into your routine. Additionally, make sure you are getting some of your basic needs met, like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and nourishing yourself.
4. Begin a reflective process.
Find ways to check in with yourself so that you can be in touch with your feelings, as well as your progress. Try to find time to identify and process your feelings—activities like journaling and meditation can help. You may surprise yourself with your own changes in perspective, adjustment, and/or healing.
If you have tried your best and still find yourself struggling with managing the impact of change in your life, contact our Intake Therapists at 541-868-2004 Ext 1 to discuss making an appointment.