The one constant in my life these days is change.
Juuuuuust when I think I’m getting a handle on things, it feels like the rug gets pulled out from under me and something new happens. My daughter learns a new skill, her sleep schedule (and therefor my work schedule) changes on a whim, my body decides it doesn’t tolerate eggs or tomatoes, or … food.
With all of this change happening in my life on a regular basis, I’ve had to figure out ways to take care of myself and allow myself to integrate the changes without creating any undo stress. It’s not enough to simply go through the motions or to ignore that change is happening.
The good news (or bad?) is that I’m not alone in this.
I’m pretty sure that the actual definition of life is learning how to navigate change with grace and determination. To make it through intact, and all the better for it.
If you find that you are having difficulty coping with change in your life, know this: you are not alone. Also, there are things that you can do to help ease the stress you’re experiencing as a result.
Here are 6 things that have always helped me stay grounded and make it out to the other side alive.
- Look at the big picture. Not only do we miss the forest because of the trees, we don’t even see the tree because we’re focused on the wood. By looking at the big picture, we can begin to see why the change is happening, what it’s opening up in our lives, and even things that we can do differently to cope better.
- Choose how you are going to react. That’s right. You have a choice in how you react in any given situation. You can choose to whine, stress out, or feel anxious. OR, you can choose to take it in stride, go with the flow, and see the opportunities that present themselves through the change.
- Discomfort is normal. Avoidance is not. When you are going through change, it’s quite normal to feel uncomfortable and stressed out. What isn’t normal is avoiding the situation all together, or making sure that every single thing in your life stays the same for the rest of time. Sounds ridiculous, right? But that’s basically what we say when we avoid change.
- Change is code for opportunity. Change is merely another way of saying new opportunities. When you can think of change in those terms, it automatically becomes less stressful. And, dare I say it, something you can actually look forward to.
- Check in with yourself each day. Ask yourself how you are doing. Every. Single. Day. Ask yourself what you need right now to feel better (i.e. – less stressed out, less anxious). And then go do it. Whether that means taking 5-10 minutes each day for yourself, adding in a meditation practice, or making sure that you get enough sleep at night. Those little things can add up quickly, and make the difference between going through the motions and actually enjoying your life.
- Ask for help. It’s extremely important to tap into your support network when going through times of change. Ask family and friends to check in with you, to go for lunch, and to help out when you need it. Connecting with others can truly make a world of difference.
The next time you’re faced with change, I hope it becomes a source of opportunity and growth.