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  • Writer's pictureJan Johnson

Coping with change

5 simple steps to letting go of the familiar

Change written in clouds
Coping with change

"As we come out of the pandemic, things are going to be different."

This is the latest messaging for us to accept and move forward into the ‘new normal’ (I hate that term). Covid has meant change for us all on a grand scale and how we cope is very much an individual thing. You may be the type of person who can ride any wave with self-assurance and laissez-faire. In others, change may result in emotive feelings of instability and severe anxiety.

#Change is an inevitable part of life and can be negative, positive or even a bit of both. It can be thrust upon us by external forces or self-inflicted, and, what looks to be an ominous cloud can turn out to have the proverbial silver lining. To give a personal example; during my working life I have been made redundant five times! To anyone who has experienced this, even once, knows it results in major changes; emotionally, financially and practically – it affects your whole equilibrium. To go from valuable asset to financially untenable at the click of a spreadsheet can be hard to process. Sat opposite the latest pseudo-sympathetic company representative, I knew I could no longer be a pawn in someone else’s corporate power game. The next change would be of my own making and wholly of the positive kind. I’m sure I came up with “Taking back control” long before the Brexiteers! Following a period of re-training, a lot of hard work and the joy of gaining a new qualification, I became a reflexologist, beginning a new chapter in holistic therapy. In fact, there would be few reflexologists without change as most practitioners have come into it from other careers. I trained with a Teacher, Midwife, Health & Safety Officer, Project Manager and other professionals all actively seeking a huge change in their lives.

There is no right or wrong way to navigate moments of great change

Here are 5 tips I have found work for me:

1. Take a step back – Our first instinct is to resist and fight against change. Allowing acceptance can calm your initial reaction and give more perspective to the situation.

2. Allow time – Adjusting to change takes time so don’t try to adapt too quickly. Analyse how you feel towards what is happening and try not to expect too much of yourself too soon.

3. Control the controllable – Change can lead to feelings of being out of control causing increased anxiety. Reinforce your routines and elements of your life that bring stability and comfort.

4. Make a plan – You can’t beat a to-do list for breaking down an overwhelming problem. Elements that are beyond your control can be discounted leaving a list of actions and goals to take forward.

5. Practice self-care – Savour the moments that bring you joy and seek support when needed. Change can bring emotional turmoil and your ability to manage stress may need bolstering. Engaging in relaxation techniques, immersing yourself in nature or holistic therapy such as reflexology will help to maintain your mental well-being through times of change.

Change can bring opportunity, empowerment and even unite whole communities. It is unavoidable that “Things are going to be different” and that is a good thing!

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