Change is constant. Whether it’s in the workplace or our relationships, nothing in life ever remains quite the same. Especially now with Coronavirus changing our everyday "normal" life. People are losing their jobs, businesses are closing, concerts are getting canceled, hotel bookings are being canceled, children have to stay home the whole day because daycares and schools are closed, leaders who had other plans in mind, have to suddenly think about taking a crash course in how to boost staff morale, family gatherings have to be postponed, and the list goes on.
Nothing is really the same anymore isn't it?
Regardless of the gravity of change, it can always be a little scary. So scary, in fact, that some people are downright crippled by the idea of it causing them to remain stagnant in anxiety.
Think about it for a second. Have you ever noticed how much of life’s transitional periods are ridden with anxious vibes? The Quarter-Life Crisis, The Mid-Life Crisis, wet feet before getting married, freaking out when you retire, teenage angst, and going from relationship to relationship are just a few examples of transitional periods when people tend to panic.
We can’t control every aspect of our lives and we can’t stop change from happening. But how we respond to change will greatly affect our overall life experience.
I understand how frustrating and painful all that big sudden change can feel like. Because, believe me, I myself have been trying to keep my head above water these few weeks with all these changes happening. But don't lose hope, there is a constructive way to deal with these big changes to work in your favor.
To help you deal with big unexpected life changes, here are my 5 recommended steps that have helped me time and again:
STEP 1 ACCEPTANCE
When things don't go your way, there are really only 2 ways that you can react to it.
1. Get angry and feel life is unfair
2. Practice acceptance
If you choose to go with the former, the question you need to ask yourself is, how does that help you in any way? Truth is, getting frustrated and angry gets you nowhere. It only makes you feel worse. It keeps you imprisoned in pain, making you feel 'stuck'.
Hence, the only best choice is acceptance. Just to be clear, acceptance doesn't mean you need to be super happy that things didn't work out or that you lost money. It doesn't make your loss 'alright'. Acceptance means you understand accept that the change is simply a fact that can't be changed, a new reality that you choose to deal with in the best way that you can.
Without acceptance, it is not possible to move on to the next steps. Acceptance is truly critical if you'd like to deal with change effectively with minimal losses.
STEP 2 STRESS MANAGEMENT
As I said, I understand change can be really scary and painful at times. Now that you have come to a mindful decision that you choose to accept and want to move forward in life, it's time to deal with the negative emotions that might cloud our judgment.
The top 5 ways I recommend to you to release stress:
Shake it off (tune-up Taylor Swift's song or any other tune that is your feel-good song and start shaking off that stress)
Sleep it off
Talk it out
Walk it off
Laugh if off
Choose any one of the above options (or a few!) and get yourself in a positive and centered mindset to move on to the next step.
STEP 3 DAMAGE CONTROL
Time to put your thinking cap on and think about what damage control can be done.
Salvage what you can and identify what can't be salvaged.
Let's say your holiday plans got screwed. Yes, you won't be able to go for that holiday, but it doesn't mean it is forever. This pandemic won't last forever.
Not all is lost. Think about what is within your control?
What you can do now to reduce your losses?
Maybe you can try to ask for a full or partial refund? Or you can get a credit voucher which you can use at a later date?
If your business is impacted, perhaps you can try asking your staff to work lesser hours for now, or take unpaid leave for some time, and possibly check which bills you can request for a deferment.
Another thing you can do is some in-depth research on what are the financial support schemes that your government is offering in these trying times.
Now I understand perhaps some of you may now be able to qualify for these schemes for whatever reasons, then try to improvise. Maybe ask your trusted friends or family or business partners for financial support to tide you over?
Don't shy away from asking for help if you need it, being shyness or pride will not help you in any way. If you are certain you are able to pay them back or possibly return them in kind in other ways in the future, have courage to seek help when needed.
STEP 4 TAKE ACTION
Now that you've plotted out what can't be salvaged and strategized what you need to do to make the best out of the unexpected change,
If there are things that can't be salvaged and a total change of plans needs to be done, then put your sleeves up and start getting down to work.
No matter how daunting it may seem to plan all over again, change processes, and try something new, do it!
It always seems impossible until it is done
- Nelson Mandela
The sooner you take the necessary measures to put into place new practices, new systems that will help your current situation, the faster you can start to see if the changes you made are helpful to your current situation or not.
STEP 5 CELEBRATE THE POSITIVES
Maybe due to this change in your life, you have had the chance to meet new people. Maybe you started practicing healthier habits. Maybe you became more politically active. Maybe you became more assertive. Maybe the change helped you prioritize what is most important in your life.
Change presents us with the opportunity to grow, and it's important to acknowledge how things have become better as a result.
As painful or stressful it was to go through that change, you survived it! You are still standing and you are now equipped with more knowledge and experience on how to tackle any such similar scenarios in the future.
Once you’ve watched today's episode, I’d love to hear from you.
What drastic changes have you been faced with due to the pandemic? How are you coping with the change?
What strategies did you apply to help you overcome that challenging moment of change? Do share your knowledge and experience in the comments below.
Share as much detail as you can. Many lovely souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough.
I really hope the strategies shared here helps to ease your stress, not feel defeated, and stay resilient to try new ways to use the change to your advantage.
Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and adding your thoughts.
Live strong, and have the courage to create a life you love because your happiness matters.
With SO much 💖,
P.S. Have a question you’d love to ask me? Do give me your Q on my page Ask Trish Anything and I'll personally get back to you with some empowering steps to help guide you through your challenges. I look forward to serve and help you towards a brighter future, a future you've always dreamt of. Do give me your Q here.
Knowing when to ask for help and guidance is not weakness. If anything, it's a strength.
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