The only constant in life is change and yet, for many, including myself, change can create anxiety. The Covid pandemic has caused us to face and adapt to an enormous global shift. This virus challenges us to take stock of what we can and cannot control. We can only control our actions and make sure we are taking the necessary precautions to stay safe, but we can never be 100% sure. Living in the unknown is challenging for everyone.
As humans, we tend to gravitate to what is familiar. Even when the change is positive, it may still cause stress. If we aren’t aware of this fact, we can fall back into our comfort zone and not stretch ourselves and grow.
I want to share some tools that I have found helpful when trying to accept change and sometimes even embrace it.
Recognize that stress is our bodies’ way of dealing with change. Anxiety around change is normal. It is when the anxiety takes over and paralyzes us that a problem arises.
Maintain as much of your daily routine as possible. When we are in the throes of change, structure provides comfort and an anchor. For example, sitting down to a meal at a specific time helps normalize your life.
Exercise-just taking a walk in your neighbourhood helps relieve stress.
Mindfulness, being present, is another useful tool to manage anxiety. For example, when walking, pay attention to your senses—the sounds around you, the fresh air on your skin, the smell of flowers.
Connecting with a close friend or family member can help. Knowing you are not alone with your thoughts and can share them helps feel less isolated and overwhelmed.
See the positives in any change you are making. Change provides us with the opportunity to learn and grow. Maybe you can learn to claim your voice and speak up for yourself. Or perhaps you can learn a new skill even if you falter. Remember, there is no failure because everything in life teaches us something.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”—Alan W. Watts