Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dealing with Change

In a late night text conversation with a dear friend last night we started to talk about all the changes we were about to face...both pregnant, both have toddlers, both about to do a military move with you can imagine there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties we are facing.  It's easy to get caught up in the fear of the unknown.  Change is scary!  Regardless of if you are a military family or someone who has lived in the same town your whole life we all face new environments with a certain amount of trepidation.

So, how do we face change without fear?

1)  Acceptance.  We all know that life can change at any point in time.  Whether it's a new relationship, new job, new home, pregnancy, death, there are many unknown variables.  Living in fear of those unknown variables will keep you in a constant state of stress.  If you can learn to accept that it's okay for life to change and that life really is like a moving river, flowing over rocks, changing shorelines, and fallen trees while we are just leaves floating down that river then it's easier to accept the unknown.

2)  Embrace the chaos.  I think there are two types of people in life.  Those who embrace an orderly life and those who embrace chaos.  I know my life is never orderly.  I wish I was more organized, but I'm not.  Instead I've learned that it's okay to embrace the chaos.  My life isn't perfect and it doesn't have to be because I know everything will work out in the end.  And if my house is a hot mess, but my daughter is happy and healthy then life is good.

3)  What's the worst that could happen?  Ask yourself and then be okay with the answer.  For example, say you're facing a move to a new city.  What's the worst that could happen?  Well, it might be hard to meet people, you might not like your new job.  Before you get there use the internet to explore new ways to get involved in your new town.  Whether it's using sites like or joining a mom's group or a cooking class, force yourself to get out of your comfort zone and get involved in new things.  Make a plan for how you are going to face various scenarios of this change.  

4)  See change as an opportunity.  This is your chance to renew, repurpose, redecorate.  Be the person you want to be.  Whether it's using this new opportunity to exercise, shop locally, go to farmer's markets, buy some new couch cushions do the things you wouldn't have done if change wasn't forcing you into something new.  Moving to a new area?  What a great time to explore a new region of the country!  Going through a divorce?  What a great time to take an exotic trip by yourself!  Don't let your fear hold you back.

5)  Be kind to yourself.  Don't be harsh or judge yourself for being afraid.  The kinder you can be to yourself right now as you face your fear the easier it will be to move through that fear.  Constantly judging yourself for being nervous is like treating your best friend like crap.  You just wouldn't do it to your best friend, so don't do it to yourself!

And above all else don't be ashamed to ask for help.  Rely on family, friends, or a therapist to help you cope with whatever you are going through right now.  If you don't ask for help, others won't know you need a hand right now.

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