How to Manage Change

What a journey we’ve already been on with COVID-19 !

Through the last few months we have all had to experience massive and unexpected change, and while it is human nature to be distressed by such change, we also have the capacity to adapt to it.  Back in March, In a matter of weeks, if not days, many moved from grumpiness about missing that gym session or an event being cancelled, to alarm about much larger financial and health fears. While the world and it’s great nations reeled through April, Australians and New Zealanders weathered panic buying at home and catastrophic health and economic news from overseas, to gradually get their pubic health strategies galvanized and enacted.

For many, in the midst of the chaos and upheaval, anxiety and frustration, unexpected blessing were being found: life slowed down, families had to learn to reconnect, the traffic was gone and the air was cleaner.

Then, almost before we knew it, the impulse to ‘get things back to normal’ struck back. The cogs of economic, educational and social turbines are straining to turn again, and what initially felt unreal, now might feel surreal: do we really expect the old life to return again so quickly ? As exciting and daunting as some of the prospects are, are we really expected to ‘adapt’ again already ?

At such times, we can feel uncertainty and a reduced sense of our ability to control aspects of our lives. Therefore, anxiety is a natural result. As such, we need to spend less time in struggle, ‘reacting’ to the outside world, and instead take more time to understand and nurture ourselves: to somehow accept what’s happening (without having to like it), adopt manageable, sustainable and self-compassionate responses to the current and emerging realities, and perhaps even manage to function in a meaningful, fulfilling way.

It is with these understandings and aspirations in mind that we ask you to truly create time and space to pause, breathe and reflect: to become conscious of what’s occurring around and within you in the present moment; to respond rather than automatically react and to spare a compassionate thought for yourselves, in the minutes and hours that make up your days.

Get started: There are lots of great (and free) apps to help you manage stress.

These include the ReachOut Worrytime , ReachOut Breathe and Smiling Mind.

Furthermore, here are some excellent tips for self-care in the present climate, collated by the Black Dog Institute:-

Your health and wellbeing are essential for the battle we’re in, and for the peace and the recovery to come.



Sean Panambalana
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