The only constant about change is how often it happens in our lives. You can experience big changes — having a baby, changing jobs, transitioning to an empty nest — and smaller ones — a new front door, a different wireless carrier, bringing home a kitten.
Many changes are positive. But even when a positive change occurs in your life, it takes getting used to. Even positive changes can cause stress.
Around SGC, we’ve had quite a few changes lately. We moved to a new office. Our office manager got married. Employees’ children are starting new schools.
We love every moment of these transitions, but they also require major adjustments. As we navigate these exciting but sometimes stressful times in our own lives, we’ve put together some tips for others going through changes in their work or home lives.
1. Talk About the Change
Some changes demand that you talk to your co-workers. If you’re changing jobs, for instance, others will know. But you may be tempted to ignore other changes that aren’t so obvious, such as the difficulty you’re having with your child’s departure for college.
Sometimes just acknowledging a change and the impact it’s having on you can ease your burden. Tell someone about it, even if you don’t “have” to. People might surprise you. You might learn someone else has gone through something similar, and they can give you hope on a frustrating day. Or you might just bond over how you watch your phones like hawks waiting for your college students’ daily texts. Whatever it is, you’ll feel better.
2. See the Humor in Things
If your transition period has been difficult, don’t get down. Instead, try to see the humor in it. For instance, you know how every new year, you write the wrong date on your checks for about a month afterward? That’s the kind of humorous thing everyone gets because we’ve all been there.
If something similar keeps happening to you, try to smile. It always lightens the mood, and chances are the big problem isn’t as big as you think.
3. Accept That You Will Feel Stressed
When something changes, you will feel some tension. That’s true no matter what has changed. You can try to fight it, and make yourself miserable, or you can admit to yourself that you will feel anxious and uneasy sometimes during this transition. That’s natural and expected. Embrace it rather than trying to avoid it.
4. View Change as Part of Life
When you accept that change will come and will enter your life again and again, there’s less reason to fear it. Even “good” change, such as an adoption or new house, is still a change. The faster you can make peace with the fact that you can’t always control such things, the happier you will be.
5. Think About How You’ve Handled Past Changes
You may have handled them well or not so well. Reflect on your methods. Decide what worked. Maybe you need a little extra “me” time, or perhaps you need better scheduling to get through your daily commitments.
Change can be good, bad or neutral, but it will always be a part of your life. Learning to cope with it will make life easier.