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Tips on Managing Change

Change is the only constant in life. Change can be a very positive experience and one which you look forward to and enjoy e.g. moving house, getting married or changing jobs. Change can also involve negative experiences that can come along unexpectedly and throw you off balance e.g. bereavement, illness, work changes, family issues.

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Managing these negative life events effectively will help you to restore your balance, reduce their impact on your wellbeing help you to stay happy and healthy. People generally adapt well to change and learn from past experiences. This information sheet will provide some useful ideas to help you manage change.

When a significant and unexpected change occurs in our life we tend to go through the same process:

  • Shock that this event has happened to us;

  • Denial that it is happening;

  • Confusion and anger as we realise it actually is happening to us;

  • Resignation when we believe there is nothing we can do.

  • Acceptance. Only when we learn to accept, can we embrace change and start to move on. When we are able to do this we are able to reach the final stage of looking forward and rebuilding.

Everybody moves through these stages to greater or lesser degrees and at different speeds. The trick is to try to recognise where you are and try to progress through the stages as quickly as possible to enable you to look forward positively.

How can we best deal with these events?

The first thing we need to do is to evaluate your lifestyle and identify any areas that you can pay less attention to whilst focusing your attention on the major life event. This is true for both positive and negative change experiences.

The following are some key coping strategies you can employ:

  • Recognise your stage of change

  • Allow yourself time to yourself to reflect and plan – where are you now, who can help, what you have to do?

  • Make a written plan and to do list – get your thoughts on paper helps you to focus

  • Talk to others and access support – a problem shared is really a problem halved.

  • Learn from your past experiences.

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Simplify your life

By simplifying your life you will feel less overwhelmed. Getting organised will help you feel more at peace and relaxed:

  • Plan your day and each week around you.

  • Create time for yourself and ensure you build in time for rest and relaxation

  • Prioritise – do what’s important first.

  • Work through tasks one-by-one and break large demands into small parts.

  • Take time to slow down, have a few moments each day to enjoy yourself.

  • Help yourself by boosting your energy and stamina to cope better with the issues you face.

  • Make a conscious decision to eat well- avoid over indulgence, avoid skipping meals, choose healthy options and keep hydrated.

  • Rest and recovery is vital to keep energy levels high – prepare for sleep with relaxation, write a to do list, try to have a set sleep routine and avoid stimulants such as cigarettes and caffeine prior to bedtime.

  • Move or exercise more to keep you fit and active.


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