Coping with Change
New things are scary. Not knowing how things are going to play out is really scary. Change is really bloody scary. But change happens all the time so surely there has got to be a good way of handling things that mean you’re not going to freak out and fly off the handle in panic every time things get a bit uncertain?
I say this as though I am good at handling change, I can assure you, I am just as panicky, nervous, worried as the next person.....but I get through it.
For example, I am in the process of changing jobs, moving from a very stable and recognised international business to a start-up. I am also in the process of changing home, moving from an area I know and love to a new place with fewer people. I am also in a weird place of getting to know new people and I’m constantly battling my own self-doubts that they don’t even really like me. But how am I handling this I hear you ask?
Answer: not well. Ha! Just kidding, sort of, but I’m working on it....I actually let myself get so worked up I got a throat infection and spent 4 days of my holiday in bed. I also sobbed my way through a few documentaries/cheesy films/adverts/taxi rides with a best pal. But there came a time (about 5 minutes before writing this) where I thought to myself “bloody hell, get yourself together girl.” and now I’m slightly less freaking out and hopefully can impart some words of wisdom as to how...
1. Ask yourself, what’s within my sphere of influence? Forget the rest.
Can you directly make an impact or change on something? No? Then let it happen. Can you influence someone else to make them make an impact or change? No? Then just let it happen. I 100% know that it’s easier said than done, but if you can’t change something, there is no point worrying about it. As the wise Newt Scamandar once said “if you worry, you suffer twice”. Wise words Newt.
2. Celebrate the positives
Again, I know this is easier said than done but new things can mean new reasons to celebrate! Maybe your new job will pay you better or moving house will mean a shorter commute or you’ll meet new people or pay less in bills. No matter how small and insignificant things may seem, try to celebrate every little win, it’ll make the big scary unknowns seem a little less overwhelming.
3. Make a load of lists
Okay, so this might just be me and my anxious, type A brain, but making a good to do list makes me feel like I’ve 100% got my shit together. Down to what I’m going to pack for my first day at work to all the bills and admin I have to sort for my new house, I find that making lists can be so calming. Side note, I also bought an amazing book ‘Spirit Listography’ that is literally just a book full of prompts for good lists that you can make and I try and write a list a night and whip it out for writing whenever I feel super stressed too. I’d thoroughly recommend!
4. Practice some mindfulness/yoga/whatever else makes you feel less stressed.
I know that when you feel stressed and your mind is racing, sitting down and stretching in the silence for an hour, half an hour or even just 10 minutes feels like the most utterly frustrating and unimportant task but it is so good for just relaxing and taking perspective. I subscribe to the Headspace app (10 minutes of guided meditation a day with the option to narrow down on certain areas to work on e.g meditation for anxiety) and it is really tough and requires a lot of discipline but I really feel the difference when I do it regularly!
5. Chat it out
This one is so important. You may fret that your worries are insignificant or you don’t want to worry anyone but truly a problem shared is a problem halved. I’m so fortunate to have my soundboard/best friend Sarah who is always at the end of the phone for a ‘reality check’ when I’m particularly worried/stressed/angry. I also have my housemates, my school pals, my work friends, a nice binman, who are all great listeners (Kidding about that binman part, though he did compliment my tan once. I feel there is a budding friendship there just waiting to blossom.). Literally, there are so many people who care about you and want to listen and help, you just have to let them in! Grab a cup of tea and head for a walk and a chat with a pal, talking through your worries will make things feel so much better, promise.
I know that change can feel overwhelming and scary but it is also a catalyst for getting out of your comfort zone, for growth and for opportunity. Try to find and celebrate the positives, try not to fret the stuff you can’t control and make sure you don’t bottle everything up. You’re a winner, you can handle this, you’ve got this. I promise!