COPING WITH CHANGE

I've been thinking a lot over the past year about change and how it is a constant in life. One of my personal goals for awhile has been to get better at adapting to all that comes my way... because life is never going to be completely settled.  NOTE: This list is about "everyday" changes and may not apply for more traumatic, life-altering events. 
  1. 1.
    Set realistic expectations.
    There is prevention work that can be done before change even occurs. Realize that change is constant. Don't live cynically, expecting things to never go your way... but also don't be surprised when you do have to deal with unexpected things.
  2. 2.
    Enjoy the blissful phases of life for what they are.
    Be thankful when things are going well. Know that this time is a gift and could very well be temporary. Appreciate it in the ebb and flow of your life timeline. You'll make the most of this period knowing that change will likely come - and you'll be more ready for the change when it does come.
  3. 3.
    Find a safe way to let your emotions out.
    When change does take you by surprise, know the right way to react. Vent in front of someone who won't judge or tell others. Journal. Close the door, curl up, and cry. Run for a long time. You need to express your emotions without guilt and in a way you won't regret later.
  4. 4.
    Take your time.
    Again, we sometimes feel an urgency to react when change happens... especially if we are more the "fight" vs. "flight" type and like to be in control. Usually you have more time than you think though, so better to clear your mind and settle your emotions first before acting.
  5. 5.
    Reason with yourself.
    Once the dust settles, ask yourself some reasonable questions, such as: What is staying the same? Who can I count on? How should I approach this? Are there things I can be proactive about to make it better? How will this help me grow?
  6. 6.
    Move on.
    At a certain point, and at the right time, you need to move forward. This is an art and not a science. You first need to appropriately grieve the loss of what was before. After that, you can begin to take steps towards the future.
  7. 7.
    Reflect.
    Don't close the door on the past completely and forever. Take time to reflect now and then. Let yourself feel some pain, but also remember how you've grown. Use the experience to remind yourself of the strong person that you are!