Change Considerations by Pamela Brewer

Sunday, November 11, 2018
Change is often a scary thing. Change you choose and change that chooses you can be equally scary. Join the human club. Human beings usually find themselves struggling with at least some anxiety when it comes to thinking about and dealing with change. Change usually represents a loss of some kind - even a good loss (i.e. you are no longer worried about paying your bills or you've just won the lottery) can be difficult to manage. Past change experiences impact heavily on the way you experience and manage change today. If a change catapults you into what feels like depression, please meet with a mental health professional for an evaluation. Short term or longer-term outpatient psychotherapy may be the treatment of choice (with or without medication) depending on the nature, the duration and the impact of the change you are experiencing.

CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Be patient with yourself as you take the time to adjust to and manage the change. A healthy life includes some change. Remember that life is about change and risk-taking. A healthy approach to change and risk-taking is empowering. Are you willing to risk the consequences of NOT taking the risk?

  1. Recognize that change can be traumatic. You may be in crisis. You may be grieving.
  2. Allow yourself to grieve the change, recognizing that ignoring the change will not make it go away. Instead of ignoring the change is likely to create the things you most fear.
  3. Identify your fears about the change. Take your time with this. Think back to the last time you dealt with change. What did it feel like? What resources did you use? Where did you get into trouble?
  4. Identify what it would take to reduce the fears. Be clear and specific about this. You are first identifying no more than three things that would help to reduce the fears.
  5. After you have identified those things that could reduce the trauma of the change? Begin to develop a small, daily list of small tasks. Gently and reasonably being to develop your change management plan.
  6. Treat yourself as though you are in crisis. Be gentle, be patient, be kind.
  7. Build in breaks from your change plan - whether it's a five-minute walk or a two-minute hello to a friend.
  8. Do not use addictions as a way to help manage the change pain.
  9. If you feel immobilized consider meeting with a mental health professional.
  10. If you see the change as one that has been forced on you, you can work to change the experience of anger and powerlessness as you consider your short-term and long-term goals, your options (you always have them!) And focus on reclaiming your power in your life.