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5 Simple Strategies to Cope with Change Related Stress

What's going on in the world is unsettling and has thrown everyone I know for a loop.

Gone are our regular routines. It's challenging to understand how the world is working and where we fit. We're all experiencing a deluge of feelings, including fear, anxiety, overwhelm, distraction, or denial.

In turn, those feelings can manifest in our behaviors. You may act out with aggression. You may slide into depression. You may push yourself to overwork or take the opposite approach and procrastinate, avoiding what's on your plate.

Your self-care may suffer. You may reach for unhealthy substances or behaviors, get less sleep, skip meals, or overindulge.

The Impact of Stress & Anxiety

Stress from both positive and negative change can have immediate and long-term effects. Stress inhibits digestion and absorption of nutrients, impairs your body's ability to ward off germs, can cause insomnia, and worsen pre-existing health conditions. If you're also engaging in unhealthy behaviors and poor self-care, you're at an even higher risk for illness or injury.

Mental abilities can be affected, as well. When you're preoccupied and worried, it's much harder to concentrate on what's in front of you.

We admire great leaders for their calm and confidence in the face of uncertainty. For many of us, though, at such times, calm is far from our reach. Instead, emotions are close to the surface and can flare-up. Whether you lash out, cry or pound on your desk, it's uncomfortable to feel out of control.

Strategies for Coping with Change

Take care of your body. Eat well, sleep well, exercise to discharge stress, and refrain from harmful habits, such as smoking, excessive drinking, or recreational drugs.

Take care of your mind. Stay in the present by practicing deep breathing and meditation. Challenge your negative thinking and keep things in perspective.

Find time to express your emotions in healthy ways. Share them with people you trust. Vent negative feelings by pounding on a pillow.

Treat others well. Strengthen your good relationships so you can draw on their support, and work at your challenging relationships, so they don't add to your stress.

Be proactive. Prepare the best you can for the changes that might come, but then accept the reality of the moment. Think back to other challenges you've come through and remind yourself that everything will work out okay this time, too.

We can't control much of what is going on around us. However, we can control our experience during this time. Let this situation be a catalyst for better self-care and relationships. You'll be fit for stable and uncertain times.

To learn more about change readiness download my e-book here.


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