If there was a poster year for a change it would definitely be 2020-2021. We’ve changed where we work, jobs, schedules, lost people, found people, got sick, got better…the list goes on.
Whatever changes you’ve experienced in the recent past, I’m sure there was more than you’ve expected and you’ve had to adapt in ways you never imagined you would.
So if you are going through change now, I feel you, you are not alone and you will get through this!
Change can happen subtly because we know to expect it or sometimes it just slams us in the face and we are like, “what the hell just happened?!”
For the most part, it’s unpredictable and uncomfortable. As humans, we prefer routine and knowing what to expect, so when change comes along it can be pretty frustrating.
However, we have an incredible ability to adapt and I want to help you adapt faster when change comes your way.
Here are my top tips to adapt to change when it’s hard, sudden, and unexpected…
Feel & Accept
It’s easy to feel like we are in “survival mode” when change happens. If you lost a job in the past year you understand this well.
When we find ourselves in the face of change, we have to allow ourselves to feel it first.
What does this change feel like?
Does it feel heavy or light?
Happy or sad?
Allow yourself to feel all the feels and accept that this change has happened. The sooner you accept the facts, the quicker you will be able to recover.
Acceptance can be a simple statement in your head that includes the facts as well as..and this is important: that you will recover.
“I understand I have lost my job due to circumstances outside of my control. I am talented and will find another job”
Now you try…
It may take a little time to allow yourself to feel all the feels and accept your circumstances (more so if they were unwelcome). That’s ok, healing takes time, understanding your feelings takes time. Give yourself time.
Find Your Constants
My next tip is to find your constants. These are the moments every day you can count on to be consistent. Like having a cup of coffee in the morning, walking the dog, going to work, etc.
Why is this important? Because when change happens, we often feel out of control. So we need to find the things that are in our control, that can count on in our every day.
So what can you count on every day?
In the morning…coffee, breakfast, taking kids to the bus, etc.
In the afternoon…eating lunch, talking with your partner or spouse, scrolling through social, etc.
In the evening…eating dinner with your family, taking a walk, watching TV, etc.
Once you know your constants, you know what is in your control, what you can count on in your life to not change when all the other changes occur. Which leads us to…
Whenever we experience a change in our life, we need to count on our support system. Maybe they can help with the change itself or maybe they can be there when you need to rant or for emotional support. Either way, human connection, and support is a primary anchor to working through change in our life and being resilient.
If you don’t have a strong family support system, reach out to friends or co-workers and let them know what is going on.
Remember, we all have experienced or are experiencing changes right now…the more we connect with each other, the more we can learn from one another to cope and overcome.
Online is a great place to also find a support system. Check out discussion boards, Facebook groups, or simply type in the change you are experiencing with the word, “support” to find a tribe to help you.
There is always someone out there to support you!
Fill Your Gaps
Now that we’ve identified our Constants and Supports we need to find our Gaps. So if you’ve lost your 9-5 pm job, we would need to fill in the gap between 9-5 pm. Most people who do not handle change well fill in this gap with repetitive unhealthy behaviors that do not align with what they want.
For example, they may want to find another job, however, they may not be searching, and instead, you can find them scrolling through social and binging Netflix. This creates a new habit cycle in their gap, one that becomes harder and harder to get out of the more their day doesn’t change.
If you have experienced change what is the gap you want to fill? Is it time like above? Is it a relationship? A loss?
What are some healthy things you can do to fill that gap?
Whatever you fill your gap with, be sure it aligns with your goals and optimism. We can be our own worst critics during times of change…creating negative cycles of negativity and pessimism in our heads.
Don’t be that person!
Be kind to yourself, remind yourself of what is good, in your control, and what you want…keep that going, on repeat loud and clear to drown out any negativity!
Once you know, commit yourself to fill the gap, one day at a time. Create new habits and your “new normal” will slowly develop into something you have created for yourself.
…and that is what life design is all about!