Tips to Help with Transitions: Coping with Change
I think it is safe to say we have all seen a large amount of change throughout this year. On a global, local, and personal level, 2020 has brought about a lot of change. We have all been navigating the unknown since COVID-19 began. Some of us have been learning new hobbies, calling friends more, working remote, not working, adjusting to being around family members, and spending time pivoting to the "new normal". Regardless of how we've been spending these past couple of months, many of us are experiencing new and unprecedented levels of stress in relation to coping with sudden change from our regular routines.
There are a few different things we can all do to help ourselves cope with change:
Realize what you can and cannot control!
If you can practice this during times of change, it can be incredibly beneficial. Throughout this year many of the big changes in our lives have been completely out of our control. So yes, it has been natural to worry about the state of our world and country but knowing for the most part a lot of the change happening is not in our control can help ease some of that anxiety. Asking yourself a question like, “What can I do in this situation to help make it better?” can also help improve your feelings of uncertainty.
Lack of communication leads to fear. When change happens, ask questions & keep communication lines open. Additionally, seek out people who have experienced/are experiencing a similar change and transition, see what did and didn't help them. Having a meaningful conversation can help ground you.
Maintain a Positive Outlook!
Be aware of your thought patterns, as our thoughts can be very powerful. Whether or not we realize it, the thoughts we have impact our actions and emotions. In times of change, do your best to shift your mindset from negative to positive. Try to view change as a new opportunity, even though it may be filled with uncertainty – It is true that change brings about a lot of uncertainty, but if we can shift our perspective on change a little bit, it will help us to view it in a more positive light.
Incorporate stress-relieving and enjoyable activities into your day. Listen to relaxing music, meditate, go to the gym or take a warm bath. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it’s comforting to you – and healthy. Avoid quieting troubling emotions with unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, drinking and gambling. (Meditation is a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness. Meditation has been proven to increase focus, reduce stress, and promote calmness. Read our blog post about mindfulness meditation to learn more.)
Be an active part of the change that is happening. Commit to joining a new group, leading an activity, researching what's next.
Take it Day by Day!
When a big change is happening, focusing on the day-to-day and something you can control can help you cope and distract you.
Get Outside and Get Moving!
Sitting inside all day can make your body antsy. Regardless of your schedule, prioritize taking one walk a day. There are many benefits to walking. Not only does walking help improve sleep habits, but can also help in treating anxiety and depression, and managing stress.
Stretch your Body!
Stretching regularly not only increases your flexibility, but it can also improve your posture, and reduce stress and body aches. Stretching can be done anywhere. If you are working remote or in an office try to implement stretching from your desk.
Ultimately, change is inevitable. However, sometimes change can become too much to handle. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed with nowhere to turn, it is important to know there is help available. The Unison Benevolent Fund provides free and confidential counselling services for registered Canadian music-makers and their immediate family in need of help. Call 1-855-9UNISON to access our resources and support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.