Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher that lived a century before Plato, is credited with saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Most of us have experienced tumultuous transition times during our lives.
Sometimes it’s for something exciting, like a new job, a new relationship, or even a new hobby.
Other times, the changes aren’t that awesome, such as the loss of a loved one, organizational downsizing, and moving into a crappy rental.
“Good” or “bad” changes, stress almost always accompanies major life transitions.
Are you nodding your head “Yes” right now? Have you recently experienced big changes in your life?
Want to know a secret? I hate change, especially when it regards anything in my personal life.
Professionally, I’m comfortable with risk and new directions; but personally, don’t move my cheese.
Maybe it’s due to moving fourteen times before my eighteenth birthday.
Maybe it’s the aftershock of having my spouse shipped off to war with three weeks’ notice.
I like “life” to not change (at all) until I feel completely comfortable and stable; but, when does that ever happen?
If major life transitions make you queasy, and the thought of change starts a head spin, don’t fret – you’re not alone. Here’s are three tips for ensuring your next life change goes smoothly:
Take Care of Yourself
When I’m stressed, I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, and I don’t do many of the other “basic” life functions. I just kind of move into “manic zombie mode” focused on tackling the obstacle at hand and ignoring my own needs. While such a transition strategy may be my default, it’s not healthy. Taking care of yourself is typically most important when you aren’t feeling like it. Prioritizing diet, exercise, and sleep are three big keys to moving through a big transition.
Stick to a Schedule
For many of us change-haters, the big hold up arises when we begin to feel like our lives are spiraling out of control. A surefire way to provide the structure you crave when making big changes is to stick to a schedule. For me, the easiest way to remain on task is to run or workout every morning before 7 AM. By having a schedule for the times in life that are so-not scheduled, you can greatly reduce your stress surrounding the situation.
Ask for Help
Realize that it’s 100% okay to not be able to handle everything on your own. We all encounter seasons in life where we need assistance, and major transitions are typically the driving cause behind our need for “backup”. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when juggling a lot of change – you’re not “weak”, you’re just normal.
I’m currently moving to a place where I know no one. Scary, huh? So the whole “help” thing isn’t readily available to me at the moment. To minimize my stress, I’m cutting back on my responsibilities until I hit smooth sailing again; this means: less working, less blogging, and less appointments until I get situated in my new home.
Change Isn’t a Four Letter Word
If you clicked this blog post, you probably dread change about as much as I do; yet, no matter how much we try to avoid disruption, it is often inevitable. But change doesn’t have to always be defined within the binary restrictions of “good” or “bad”. Sometimes (most times) change is just “change”- just something different that requires some flexible “finagling” on our part.
Like the four weather seasons, change is an arguably necessary part of life that demands an ebb and flow of adjustment as our lives evolve into the manifestation intended. By prioritizing our health, following a schedule, and asking for help, we can help mitigate the stresses change-mandated metamorphosis presents.