It the current turbulent economic and political climate, it is inevitable that you will be faced with change in the workplace or even in your personal life. Change can be exciting, daunting, confronting and can evoke a whole myriad of other reactions. As human beings typically we prefer the status quo and don’t like to deal with change. However if we have a considered response rather than an instinctual reaction to change, we may save ourselves unnecessary distress.
There are three important R’s in dealing with change: Recover, Refocus and Regenerate.
Recover: We need to regain our sense of balance and routine, to recover from the shock of the change. The situation may be stressful, challenging or unfamiliar. We may be dealing with unexpected issues and problems that need solving. Some symptoms that are common in this phase include headaches, backache, fatigue or feeling anxious and depressed. To start your recovery, try stepping back from the situation, take a short break, share your concerns and thoughts with others, and make sure you try some stress management techniques. Although this may be the time you will least feel like it, it is actually the time you most need it.
Refocus: Look at the big picture to gain perspective and peace of mind. Concerns may start to intrude. Try to think of them in terms of; will I remember these worries in a year, in three years or ten years time? If the answer is generally no, then it is important to acknowledge that it isn’t worth the energy to worry. Take time to think and reflect on what has happened, why it happened and try to gain a sense of meaning. Check out your own feelings and reactions – are you feeling sad, angry, annoyed? Recognise that change is inevitable and indeed necessary for our survival. Reframe the negative thoughts into what might be positive about the situation. For example, in a company restructure, perhaps there is the potential for a greater opportunity, to network more effectively or to learn new skills.
Regenerate: This is the time to heal and move on. You can’t necessarily change what has happened. However you can look for the positive reasons as to why it happened. Find your silver lining – consider how much more positive and rewarding it is than living under gloomy dark clouds. Heal yourself and start planning for the near future, accept the change and make it part of your new personal or work life.