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When was the last time you experienced a major change in your life?
Or maybe it was a small change, but it was significant to you, and it was a change that you felt you had little or no control over?
Change is something that we all experience, on a day to day basis – but it effects us in different ways.
Have you ever experienced that feeling of not knowing what is going on around you? Or of not knowing if the people involved in your life are going to be there tomorrow? Or of not knowing what a change is going to mean for you in the future?
Some of us can handle quite easily, and we manage to ‘flow’ with what’s new, but for others, changes can cause our anxiety levels to rise, and leave us feeling completely out of control of our lives and our environment.
It’s a horrible feeling of ‘dread’ for many, and the anxiety that comes as a result can have all sorts of effects on a person’s ability to function in life – to sleep and eat well, to maintain positive relationships, to manage tasks and workloads at work or at school, and to go about every day life.
So when we anticipate that something new is going to happen, or we’re involved in a major ‘life change’, it’s valuable to look for ways to manage what is going on around us, and to help ‘transition into the new’.
Question – what do you do if you support a person who finds change or transitions really difficult (or perhaps you yourself find change really hard to manage)?
Answer – other than avoiding change (which is an incredibly difficult thing to do in the world that we live in), it’s a good idea to plan, and to set some support strategies in place.
Planning for a transition is really important as it enable us to be proactive and make decisions ahead of time (rather than being reactive), and so to is arming yourself with strategies to make change easier (whether it be for yourself or for a person you support). Whilst not all changes are predictable, many that we encounter in our lives are, and it’s how we tackle these that makes the difference.
Whether it be a transition from bed to breakfast, from home to school, from lunch to a work task, or a major transition such as a move to a new home or a new job, or a new addition to a family, changes can be supported to make them a little easier on everyone. It’s just about planning ahead where we can – and patience and understanding is always handy too!
So what do you do to help ease a change or transition?
Written by Elissa Plumridge