Whether you have a new job, a new home, a new family member (grandchild, daughter-in-law etc) or even a new medical diagnosis—there is change in your life. And adjustment to that change. They go hand in hand.
Any of the above could require adjustments to new cities, new neighbors, more travel, unexpected repairs, unexpected relationship challenges and with a medical diagnosis—possibly a permanent change in the way you live your life.
Making a New Year’s resolution to walk more or ride a bike is easy—it’s your decision and you get to create the boundaries and the rules that go with it.
But there is change that moves into your well-thought-out life that comes with other decisions you make or with things that just happen—and suddenly you have to adjust whether you want to or not.
Here are a few tips to help you handle change and make the necessary adjustments:
- educate yourself; this is a good way to handle change and any kind of adjustment. If it’s a medical diagnosis, don’t panic until you have all the facts. If you are in a new environment ie new office, new neighborhood, even a new home, ask questions of those around you; take notes. The more you learn the more comfortable you will eventually become.
- eliminate other stressors; if most other areas of your life are steady (you’re not in the middle of a divorce or dealing with great financial hardships) you’ll have the energy and time to adjust to change. You’ll need both. If other areas of your life are not steady, you will need to rely heavily on your inner strength, and follow closely tip #3.
- seek support; you’ll need a friend, a buddy to help you navigate change and make a healthy adjustment. The support might come from a new co-worker, neighbor, or even your new boss. Don’t expect your spouse or children to be that moment-to-moment support for you, because often they too are adjusting to the change affecting you.
- try to go with the flow; but if it’s too difficult, seek professional help. Some of the changes in your life might be of your own choosing, but others come at you from nowhere. You aren’t prepared. You don’t want this person, place or event in your life. Or some change has altered the once wonderful relationship you had with a friend, coworker or even your own child. A counselor can often help you through a time when you can’t see anything but your point-of-view. A counselor can help you push aside anger, find forgiveness, and often see the change in a light that you can live with. And have a talk with yourself about finding happiness. As Deepak Chopra writes:
- don’t expect someone else to make you happy
- don’t get stuck, allowing sad emotions to close you off from new experience.
Bottom line: adjustment is getting to the point where you can live with the change. You are not in conflict with it on a continuing basis.
- once you are there, reward yourself; your reward could be a simple gift, a weekend getaway, or maybe a few hours every day that are yours alone. You’ve come through, you’ve adjusted: you found things you like about your prospective son-in-law; the move to a smaller home has its upside; the medical care you are getting for your chronic illness is beginning to have a positive affect on your day to day living. Hopefully you’ll get some breathing space and you won’t have to use your adjustment skills in the near future. Hopefully you will even be able to embrace this change, this new normal.
But it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll need these skills again–and again. Because we all know, life is change and change demands adjustment. They go hand in hand.
Thanks to Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield for some ideas.
Thanks to Google Images