November 4, 2020

There is only one thing that is ever certain in our lives. There will be change.

It’s true. Nothing stays the same. Nothing really. 

Our sadness, anxiety and frustration usually comes from the lack of acceptance of change. 

I know it happens to me. Things change and you long for how things used to be. It’s human. We like what we know and we find comfort in what we know. 

The problem is that everything changes. Learning to adapt to change is a skill that is easier for some than it is for others. 

I will share with you what has helped me and what can help  you and your kids when faced with change. 

First of all, change will affect you whether it’s good or bad. In fact there is an actual list used by psychologists to analyze the risk of stress and on that list is marriage, a new baby, divorce, death of a loved one, change of job, etc. Some, of course, rank higher than others but all can result in stress.

So, never feel guilty about feeling anxious or struggling about a “happy occasion” such as the birth of a new baby or a new job. Be patient with yourself as you navigate this new role which will undoubtedly come with moments of confusion, frustration, and longing for some “normalcy” in your life. 

This year all of us have collectively been asked to adapt to change as we face the pandemic as a nation. Our individual coping skills have become more important than ever and each person’s situation is unique. 

There is no way that you can understand completely what another person is feeling or experiencing. In your mind you may think you do, but it’s impossible. It’s no different with our kids. Our kids are being asked to adapt and change and many are looking to you for guidance. Maybe you yourself are struggling and don’t know what to do. 

Here are some helpful ways you can manage change

  1. Take it a day at a time. Being impatient will increase frustration. Try to focus on daily tasks. 
  2. Manage your thinking – Avoid extreme thinking. When you find yourself thinking of something negative, acknowledge the thought, sit with it and change your focus to something else. Worrying about things doesn’t make them any less or more likely to occur. 
  3. Educate yourself – Read to learn. If it’s a new situation, read about it. Ask others that have been through something similar to help you navigate your new situation.
  4. Ask for help – Never be afraid to ask for help. No one is a superhero, and all of us need the support of loved ones at some point in our lives. If someone offers to help, say yes. If they don’t offer, ask. 
  5. Having a bad day doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It means you had a bad day. Tomorrow is another day. 

As we navigate this ever changing world around us, I know that you can handle it. I believe in you. All you have to do now is believe in yourself.

Stay healthy!

Elizabeth Vainder M.D.

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