5 Tips for Coping with Change

imageRecently a company I work with announced a large reorganization. In this case, it isn’t only positions – it is whole departments getting reassigned, outsourced, or eliminated. The changes coming down the pike got me thinking about the subject of coping with change.

Sure, change is a part of life. It’s how we grow as human beings. It starts from the time we are born until our last breath of air. I remember when I was graduating from middle school and moving into the high school. I was both scared and excited. When we are facing change, it is often a combination of both fear and excitement. Some people thrive on change, seeing it as a new challenge. Some of us are less enthusiastic about change. For most of us, it depends.

Change happens in all areas of life as we move though different stages. We get a job. Maybe we lose a job. Then find a new job. If we have a partner, maybe we stay with that partner, or get separated, even widowed. And then perhaps we start over again. Moving to a new home, having children are more examples of change. Health, illness, hopefully health again and if not adapting to a new reality are changes we all go through.

Here are five strategies for coping with change:

  1. Think of changes you’ve coped with in your life that you’ve survived and even thrived through. What did you do that was helpful?
  2. Identify what can and cannot be controlled in the situation. We become stressed when we try to manage what is out of our control. Tip: we can control our reactions; we can rarely control the situation.
  3. Have healthy habits. Stress increases during times of change and uncertainty. Be sure to exercise, eat healthy, and watch your intake of alcohol and other drugs.
  4. Try not to let change negatively affect your confidence. Remind yourself of prior successes.
  5. Seek help and support from others. It helps to know you are not alone.

Change is inevitable, suffering is optional. And remember, when one door closes, another door opens. You have successfully navigated through changes before. And you will successfully do it again.

Illustration by Hugh MacLeod