The one constant in life is change. That doesn’t mean we ever get used to it or fully embrace it. We struggle with change because of our drive for constancy and our attachment to habits. Humans have a psychological response to change. When faced with change, we can have a range of feelings from hope and excitement to fear, which can cause anxiety, anger, or depression.
Sometimes we get so caught up in fighting change that we put off dealing with it. This happened during the COVID-19 lockdown. Many of us were in denial over how long it would last and if the lockdown was necessary. Denial is a powerful force and refusal to adapt to the change can cause stress. Many of us felt trapped and confused about the truth and its effect on the future. Our lives were changed so dramatically, jobs were lost, we missed precious moments with loved ones, and many struggled with physical and mental health issues. Adjusting to such a tumultuous change takes time.
Six ways to help you adjust to change:
1. Maintain some normalcy. The more you can maintain your regular routine, the better off you’ll be. Go for your usual morning walk, go to church, stick to your normal sleeping pattern (try to get 7 hours), eat healthy, and exercise. Structure and routine provide comfort.
2. Incorporate stress-relieving and enjoyable activities into your day. Listen to relaxing music, pray, read the Bible, meditate, go to the gym, or take a warm bath. Seek and do whatever is comforting for your body, mind and soul. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:6-7
3. Reframe your thinking. Figure out what’s going on in your mind when you’re feeling sad and break negative patterns. Once you become aware of negative thoughts, you’re better equipped to shift them to positive. Be grateful for your faith and your God given abilities. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7
4. Take time to reflect. With today’s jam-packed schedules, most people don’t take time to reflect on what is good in their lives. Give your thoughts a voice and write in a journal. Take the apostle Paul’s’ advice: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
5. Believe you have the ability to change. Don’t fear it – you’ve done it before and you are not alone. God is with you, to strengthen and help you. Remember, the object of your faith is Christ. The pending change won’t change your identity and trust in Christ. Rather, it may increase your faith as it did for Paul, who wrote in Philippians: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13
6. Seek help. The counselors at Royal Palm Christian Counseling, are here to help you navigate life’s changes. Schedule time for a session in person. We also offer video and tele-counseling for adults, children, and couples.
Colleen Shue, M. Ed. In Counseling,
Certified in Biblical Counseling and
Brain Health Coaching