Managing Change

Change happens.  Just like death and taxes, change happens, weather you plan for it or not.  Things at home can change, and things at work can change.  Changes happen in family issues, and even with simple things like going to the grocery store.  Knowing that things will change can help you plan for how to adjust, no matter what happens.  Being able to adjust to changes becomes part of being happy for life because if you can adjust you can get through anything that might come along.  If you know you can manage anything, change isn’t a problem and you can keep moving forward.

When I work with patients, they come in having to adjust to all kinds of change.  Some struggle with the empty next syndrome, loosing their purpose when the kids are grown and moving away.  Some struggle when things change at work, and many struggle with the transition out of the military.  When things change there is a loss of control, and things are less predictable as the adjustment is happening.  There is no comfort in change, especially if you feel a loss of control, but understanding the outcome of the change can help you better plan.

If you are managing the empty nest, begin planning at least a year before the kids are gone.  Find a new purpose, to occupy your time.  Develop things that you enjoy and find hobbies that you can do well into the future.  If changes are happening at work, ask questions and get a feel for the end result.  It can help you understand your place in the new order, and feel more comfortable as the changes happen.  If you are transitioning out of the military, get support.  Where ever your support originates, don’t go through this change alone.  No matter what change you are facing, you don’t have to do it alone.  I recently talked about the fact it takes a village to find a puppy, but the village can also help you through tough times.  You are not alone, and others may have been through a similar situation, and can give you advice and assistance.

I have moved many times in my life, but I still struggle with change at times.  If you are going through change as a family, talk about it.  Process it together.  If you are going through change at work, talk to your coworkers, in an appropriate way.  The idea is not to complain or cause problems, the idea is to get support from each other to help manage the change together.  Whatever the change, you can get through it.

Unfortunately, change can cause depression, anxiety, and so many other emotions.  It can bring thoughts of suicide, if left to fester.  It can keep you from the people that can help, and cause isolation and sadness.   Don’t let having to manage change be scary.  Embrace it, with the idea that it can make your life better.

Things will change.  They will get better, and sometimes they will get worse, but they will change.  If you can adjust, or learn to adjust, you can get through anything, even then things change for the worse.  Some change can make your life better, and some change can cause problems for a while, but don’t be afraid.  It won’t last, if you know what to do.  You can make things better, and stay on you journey to be happy, for life.