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How to Cope With Change

Change in our lives is often both unexpected and uninvited.  Maybe you have a new manager or you have lost your job altogether.  You feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you.  So how do you cope?  Here are some tips that will help you manage this transition:

Acknowledge your feelings.  When faced with a big change in your life, you might feel scared, sad, angry, overwhelmed, or like you have lost control.  All of these emotions are valid and perfectly understandable.  It is important that you acknowledge and address these feelings.  Talk to a famly member, friend, or counsellor.  You may even want to keep a journal as another outlet for your emotions.   

Accept the change.  If you are still fighting the change, it is going to make it difficult for you to move foward.  When you spend your time and energy wishing that things were different, you become stuck and you are unable to take the necessary steps to improve your current situation.

Focus on solving problems.  A great way to get out of your head is to focus on the practical problems that are in front of you.  If you have lost your job, you can start creating your strategy for finding a new job.  If your work hours have drastically changed, you can start making arrangements that will accomodate your new schedule.  When you shift your focus to problem solving mode, you start to feel less anxious about everything and you begin to improve your situation. 

Try to find the positive aspects of the change.  There are very few changes that are 100% negative.  Often opportunities come hidden in unwanted changes and it is up to you to recognize them.  This becomes a lot easier after you have accepted the change.  Try to view it as a turning point in your life and use it as an opportunity to try something new.

Take care of yourself.  During times of transition, it is particularly important that you take care of yourself.  This means eating properly, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and limiting alcohol and caffiene.  By taking care of these basic needs, you significantly decrease your stress level and it becomes a lot easier for you to manage the change.   

Charles Darwin said that "it is not the strongest or most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change."  Coping with change is not easy but if you keep moving forward, you might find that things are not as bad as you first thought.


(Written by Karen Bivand, Image Courtesy of mrpuen at