If ever there has been a time to learn to cope with change it’s now. We’re a couple of months into a pandemic of Coronavirus and life has been turned upside down for thousands of us.
But despite this, there has always been change – major change from loss and trauma to smaller changes like getting a new job or moving to a new house.
Change is inevitable and is part of life, being able to cope with change is key to living well. If you struggle to cope with change you may experience stress, anxiety, or depression.
So I thought I would share some strategies to help you navigate change and come out the other side stronger.
Accept the change
We know that nothing stays the same forever, but change can still be hard if it involves loss or trauma of some kind. And that’s ok. There is no right or wrong way to feel.
If major change has happened suddenly, it can feel like a bit of a shock and take some time to come to terms with. But you do need to accept that the change has happened and then look forward to how you will adapt.
Go with the flow
Putting pressure on yourself to feel one way or another, or ‘get over it’ isn’t going to be helpful.
Accept help offered by others, ask for it if you need it, and look for new opportunities that may arise.
You need to work with your new situation rather than fight against it. Resisting the change may mean a longer period of suffering, so be open to exploring where you go from here.
As philosopher Alan Watts once said, the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.
Be kind to yourself
It’s ok to move through different feelings. Even the ones that are seen as being negative. Sadness, sorrow, anger, frustration are all completely normal human emotions. And everyone experiences them at some point throughout their lives.
Acknowledge your feelings and emotions, but don’t allow them to overcome you or to control your behaviours. Keep a check on your habits to make sure negative ones don’t creep in, under the guise of helping you cope.
Practice good self-care and consider using a journal to get thoughts out of your head if it seems like they are constantly swirling around in there.
Find a new normal
When you experience change your life may never be the same again. But that does not mean it’s going to be worse.
In her book Unbroken, Martine Wright talks about how her normal 9-5 life was devastated when she was involved in the 7/7 London bombings on the way to work one seemingly ordinary morning back in 2005.
56 people died and 784 people we injured. Martine was sat on the tube close to one of the suicide bombers and lost both her legs. But in her story of survival, she shares how she went on to become a Paralympian, won numerous awards and turned to public speaking as a career – something she would never have dreamt of before that day. Her story is one full of hope and optimism, and she has also been honoured by the Queen with an MBE.
No matter what change you’re going through, life can be good again, and it could even turn out great. New opportunities and experiences could be waiting for you, that you may never have taken if it weren’t for the challenges you have faced.
Talk it through
Sometimes it can take a little support to process your feelings and discover how your new normal might look, especially if you have experienced abuse, trauma, or loss.
That’s why I offer psychotherapeutic counselling in a comfortable and confidential space. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in coping and adapting to the changes in your life, I can help you move forward and teach you good coping mechanisms to help build your reliance for future changes.
To book a counselling session or find out more about how I can help you, you can contact me here.