Dealing with change
Dealing with change
Sunday, 19 July 2020
We face many changes throughout our lives.
We might be finishing primary or secondary school, starting college, or getting a new job. Some of us decide to leave home or even move to a new country.
Change can occur within our families, such as separation, divorce, or the death of a family member. The world itself goes through many changes too. The political, environmental, and social environments are always in flux.
It can also be exciting, daunting, or exhausting. No matter what we feel about it, change is inevitable and can’t be avoided. When we’re finding it difficult, often the problem isn’t the change itself, but how we deal with it.
We can’t always control change, but can learn to manage our feelings about it.
Examples of change include:
- Moving homes
- Starting or finishing a school or college year
- Starting at a new school or college
- Relationships ending
- Starting a new job, or leaving an old one
- Death of a family member or friend
- Parents separating or divorcing.
We can anticipate or even choose some of these changes, but sometimes, we never see them coming – they could be sudden, or completely out of our control. They can cause us to feel shock, anger or anxiety. These reactions are not unusual and it’s good to talk about them.
Welcoming change into our lives
There are many changes we choose, and welcome with enthusiasm. For example, we may expect a new job will be exciting and interesting or can’t wait to finish the school or college year. But even if we look forward to a change, there may also be negative feelings involved.
For us to arrive at something ‘new’, we must first give up something ‘old’. It’s OK to have mixed emotions in these cases, feeling happiness and excitement as much as fear and sadness. Doubt about our decision can often creep in as well.
Being able to talk about and share our emotions can be helpful. Take time to acknowledge what you’re leaving behind. If you are having second thoughts about a change you made, talk these through with someone you trust. If it is affecting your day-to-day activities, you might need to introduce some ways to handle these feelings.
How to deal with change
Give yourself time to come to terms with the change. Reach out and talk to people around you about how you are feeling.
How you can handle the change ahead
When we anticipate a change, we often imagine the worst case scenario. If you find yourself doing this, think about how you would deal with that situation, if it actually happened. Talk this through with a trusted friend or family member, and identify possible outcomes and solutions together.
Are there any positives in the situation? Focus on the positive outcomes no matter how small they may seem. Try to shift your attention from the negatives. Imagine how you would comfort a friend going through the same thing.
Bear in mind, once a change happens, even if we don’t agree with it, there will likely come a time where we grow to accept it. Remind yourself of something you may have been dreading in the past and how that panned out.
Uncertainty can often add feelings of anxiety. So, while the lead up to the change can be difficult, once it actually happens you can begin to deal with it and it becomes easier with time.
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