Dealing with change
Change is part of life, but sudden imposed changes can leave us feeling lost and uncertain. To deal effectively with the change that is happening we must acknowledge and accept what we are experiencing. This will help us to cope, learn and grow. Pretending that nothing affects us tends to be a fool hardy strategy and usually prolongs our discomfort and uncertainty, preventing us from functioning at our best. If you are experiencing any sort of imposed change right now, the tips below might help.
1. It is OK to feel this way
Change happens and things will never be the same. The biggest step you can take on your change journey is to accept how you feel and be gentle on yourself. All feelings are valid and completely normal.
Tell yourself quietly ‘it is OK for me to feel this way’.
2. Express your feelings
Bottling up your feelings is likely to make you feel worse, for longer, as your body has a habit of speaking it’s mind!
Try writing down what you are feeling right now – scribble if you want to – you can be as honest as you wish as these are your own private thoughts.
3. Reconnect with yourself
The emotions of change can make us feel lost and detached. The best way to alleviate these feelings is to find ways of reconnecting with yourself.
Find a special place where you feel comfortable to take time out. Notice the colours, the sounds , the tastes, the smells and the feel of your surroundings.
Try sitting still in this place and feel your feet on the floor and your bottom on the seat. Take deep, slow breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth and say to yourself ‘I am here’.
4. Take care of yourself
Recovering from change is like recovering from an illness , you need to take care of yourself to get better. The journey can be long and can take it’s toll.
Regular exercise, even just walking, will relieve stress, tension and improve your overall mood. Eat a balanced, healthy diet , drink plenty of water and allow yourself to get enough sleep.
5. Accept the help of others
Spend time with people who energise you and avoid those who do not. You are the most important person right now.
6. Lighten your load
During periods of change and uncertainty we often carry a sense of pride or duty that makes us feel we have to behave in a particular way. We feel that if we don’t keep this up, we will somehow be letting ourselves or others down.
Give yourself permission to let go regularly and notice how much better you feel. Crying, shouting and even screaming will allow your body to release tension.
7. Say what you need to say
When imposed changes hit there are often things that we wished we had said and done differently. It is never too late to put this right.
Write a letter saying all the things you wanted to say and do. Imagine the person listening and understanding as you read the letter out loud to them.
8. Find opportunities to laugh
Laughter has an amazing ability to heal us. The process of laughter releases our stress and produces endorphins that make us feel good. It is important to make time for guilt-free laughter and smiles.
9. Take one step at a time
Give yourself the time to progress slowly. Taking even a tiny step forward will make you feel so much better. Keep noticing the progress you are making. Don’t judge it, just notice it.
10. Know that you will find new strength
Try to look back on the good things and know that your journey through these changes is helping you to grow stronger and wiser.
Let me know what you try and how it works. I’d also love to know other tips that have worked for you on the subject of change.