How to Effectively Cope with Change and Transition
Many times when life takes a dramatic turn we initially feel displaced or out-of-sorts. Times of transition in our lives can cause disorientation, mental/physical fatigue, lowered immune system, sleeplessness, agitation, irritability, and fear.
What are some major life events that can change our lives? Moving, getting married, having a family member move in, job change, having a baby, school, and any type of loss.
Resisting change in the beginning is common because we are creatures of habit, and any changes in our routine can disrupt our order and flow of doing things. Take for instance having a baby, while it can be a joyous time to have a newborn; it can also bring disputed sleep, changes with spending time with your spouse, and limited personal time for self.
Usually for the first 21 to 30 days of transitioning to a new season in our lives it can be hectic, confusing and just plain tiring. After 21 to 30 days, we form new habits, and that is usually when the new changes begin to settle into our lives. Our lives at that point become more manageable and we begin to adapt to our new environments. Humans have an incredible ability to adapt to change, however, not all people adapt to change immediately. I do not do well with change, and my adaptation time can take a little longer. I am very routine, orderly and structured (very Type A). Type B personalities are more flexible and can more readily adapt to change. Be mindful that not everyone will immediately like change, and some may even resist it.
We can cope with change and transition a lot easier by:
1) Taking it one day a time. Try not to jump ahead and figure out what next. One step at a time.
2) Keeping a routine as much as possible. Make a new daily list of what needs to get accomplished for the day/week.
3) Connect and plug into your power source-Jesus Christ. This cannot be underestimated. Spending daily time with God when you are going through changes can bring great comfort.
4) Realize that the uncomfortableness of change will not last. Usually after 21 days adaptation to your new changes will occur if you do not resist the changes. If you resist and fight against the changes, it will take longer to adapt to them.
5) Incorporate something that you did before the change, and try and implement this into your new schedule.
6) Change can bring stress, so take care of your physical body and as well as your spirit by going to bed and getting up at the same time, eating well-balanced nutritious meals, exercising, and taking a good multi-vitamin.
7) Stay connected to people that will encourage and support you during your time of changes such as family and friends. Having someone that you can talk with can serve as a buffer against the stress that comes with change.
8) Try not to overload your schedule during the beginning of new changes. Keep your load light, as major changes can cause a decrease in energy levels. Rest when possible, and take it easy.
Changes and transitions will happen to all of us at some point in our lives. Not all changes would be considered bad, but even good changes like getting married can create stress. Letting the Holy Spirit guide you during times of changes in your life can make the difference between getting stuck or being able to successfully adapt.
I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand; I shall not be moved. Psalm 16:8
Have you had any recent changes in your life? If so, how are you coping with those changes?