Embracing change

Let’s face it, change is hard. From starting a new job or moving house to simply making changes to our routine, it can take a while to get used to anything outside the norm.

Typewriter and paper with the words New ChapterSome of us embrace change, some of us hate it. Personally, I chop and change (no pun intended) – some days I feel ready for it, other days I’ll do anything to avoid it.

When I got married everything was different. I was no longer an ‘I’ but a ‘we’. Instead of just me to think about there was my husband as well. Sharing life and its challenges was a joy but we had to work at.

Having children was the next big life change. We had little lives relying on us for everything and suddenly popping to the shops or just having a shower or dashing to the shops was a struggle. I had to set aside my career, lifestyle and sleep and learn how to embrace this new phase of my life.

I like to think of each change as a season. A season for my husband and I being a couple, a season for babies, a season for sleep, a season for retirement one day or even just being at home more.

Woman in sunrise raising her armsOccasionally I’d weary of the current one and look for change and other times change was upon me and I had no choice. I’ve had to let go of dreams and expectations and adjust them or find new ones.

Whatever the reason for change, it is the way we respond that’s important and this can take some effort.

We all have to make changes at some point in our lives. But how can we learn to accept and embrace these, instead of shying away?

I’ve discovered a few coping mechanisms which help me make change a positive thing:

Understand. I like to write about what’s happening and I gain a bit of perspective and understanding. It can help to know why a change is upon you. By understanding what it is will help you find acceptance. Is it a life stage? Are there others that can identify with you?

Relax. Change is hard. Go easy on yourself. It’s okay to take small steps.

Learn to grow. Whether the change is expected or not it will help you grow if you let it. The more I fight change the harder it is and the more dissatisfied I become. I could be missing out by holding on to something I can’t control. Don’t let past failures discourage you, keep trying.

Think positive. This can be hard in the face of a challenge. I have little cards and posters around my home with positive sayings and quotes to help me get rid of negative thoughts.

Give yourself time. It’s okay to be sad and grieve what has been lost but don’t stay in that sad place too long.

Be kind to yourself. Change takes time. I easily criticize myself for how I could have done better or how I should do something. By being kind to myself I’m giving myself time to adjust.

Be open to new experiences. It’s easy to hide away but taking that first step might bring something beautiful. I find it hard to put myself out there and make new friends but when I do, I love it and wish I’d tried it sooner.

So if change is in the air for you, maybe it’s time to take a different approach. Instead of wishing everything would just stay the same, why not look on it as a new and exciting chapter in your life?