How to handle too much change in 7 easy steps
Let me ask you first. Is there such a thing as too much change? And if there is, how can we use it to become a better version of ourselves?
Have you ever felt like your world is tumbling down like an avalanche, destroying everything you have and know? Have you ever felt like you can't keep up with the changes? Have you screamed out loud “when is this going to end?”
We all have at some point.
There are so many tips and hacks on how to handle change. Some of them are useful, some of them not so. At least not for me.
As I’m writing this, we are in the middle of a “change hurricane”.
Allow me to share with you my 7 steps on how I’m handling these changes like a pro, while staying fit, vital, and sane.
1. Acknowledge the changes
We’ve all heard “the one constant in life is change”. But that doesn’t mean that we ever get used to it or that we like it.
We humans fear change. Most of us, that is. Whether it is a good change or just a change, it makes us feel scared and anxious. Anything outside of what we know, outside of our comfort zone, poses an invisible threat.
We don’t know what’s behind that door, outside that wall. We don't know what is expected of us, what we will find there. So we are scared.
Sometimes we get caught up in fighting and resisting the change, and hence keep denying it. All in the name of not having to deal with it.
Denial can sometimes protect us, but not in this case.
Saying “even though I’m going through so many changes and it makes me anxious, I give myself permission to embrace them. I allow myself to be relaxed” helps me to stress less and keep calm.
2. Accept that even good change is stressful
This was a big realization for me. If you think about having a baby, getting married, or accepted to a university - these are all positive life changes. And yet, they create a great deal of stress and anxiety, don't they?
It is ok to feel stressed while anticipating good change - it is just the way our body reacts (and keeps us safe).
3. Ask for help and delegate
I always thought I could multitask. The truth is, I can’t. If I'm being honest, not many people can efficiently multitask. We can be busy with a million things at the same time, but how many of the tasks do we actually finish? Exactly!
It is okay to ask for help, no one gets through life alone or without help. When you ask for help, it's a sign that you are aware that you need some assistance. Think of your trusted friends, family members, neighbors, your community. Chances are that they are happy to help if you need them to watch your kids while you run some errands or go on a date night. Or if you just need a little self-love and self-care.
4. Follow your normal schedule as much as possible
The more change that is happening, the more important it is to try and stick to your ‘normal’. I know it's not always possible.
Having some things that stay the ‘same’, like coaching clients at 5:30am (yep, that’s me), or walking the dog every morning at 7am - gives us some predictability in the sea of change.
Keep your scheduled commitments you made to yourself and your family.
5. Eat healthy
What do we do when we are stressed? We eat! What do we crave?
Yes, you guessed it!
Carbs! Pizza, bread, muffins, potato chips, or french fries (with truffle mayo!)
Eating carbs boosts serotonin —a brain chemical that may be somewhat depleted when you undergo change (aka stress).
I always tell my clients that it is okay to console ourselves with comfort foods — in moderation.
I swear by ‘portion control’ eating lifestyle. Portion control has been my eating lifestyle for the past 8 years. My clients love it as well! It is sustainable and I can eat anything!
Portion control does NOT MEAN STARVING YOURSELF. It’s knowing what it is going to take to properly fuel your body! - ShaunT
Also increased taste for alcohol or other substances can increase when handling changes. Be aware of them, they can sneak up on you when you are under stress.
Sticking to your workout schedule could be a part of “follow your normal schedule as much as possible”.
If a good sweaty workout is not a part of your schedule yet, I urge you to try adding it.
You don’t need any equipment. Anything can turn into a workout. Brisk walk outside, playing fetch with your dog, canoeing on a river.
Put your shoes on, go outside and start moving - it can help you feel better.
7. Write down the positive outcomes from the changes
Call it positive affirmation, the law of attraction, or priming. By writing down the positive outcomes from changes you are going through you will see the positive side.
Maybe you are starting a new exciting job, in a new country, in a new city.
Maybe you are meeting new, exciting people who are guiding you to be the best version of yourself.
Maybe you started practicing mindfulness, healthier eating habits.
Maybe, just maybe, all these changes present us with an opportunity to grow, to be who we really are, to do what we always wanted - to get the life, body, and mind we’ve always dreamt of.
In times of constant change, you may feel a little out of control, a little overwhelmed.
You may feel like you are not living up to your expectations for yourself. It’s ok to be HUMAN and do less than what is humanly possible.
If something goes sideways, it’s ok.
There are no mistakes, just lessons, and good stories.
Maybe we can share our stories at some point and laugh about them.
So, is there such a thing as too much change?
I don't think so. I believe that the Universe (or whomever you believe in) gives you only as much as you can handle.
And you can handle anything! I believe in you!
I KNOW CAN! Do you?