Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End. Your Guide to Managing Change in The Opening and Closing of The Chapters of Life
By Jackie White
Every life is a story. Each day is a page we write and with time we are continually opening and closing chapters. This month at SoulShine we are going to present a series on the many chapters of our lives. One commonality with life’s chapters is that they all involve change.
Life ebbs and flows with periods of change. Some are expected and anticipated thresholds like markers of age, relationships, career and/or parenthood. The chapters we look forward to make the chapters we leave behind much easier to close. One thing for sure is that the more proficient you become at managing change, the better equipped you will be to handle the chapters you don’t look forward to.
Change is Good…
Yes, change is good. Some people cringe when they hear that, but we all need change to grow. In order to really experience life fully, you must continue to grow and learn and try new things. Now, does change cause stress? Yes, it can, but if you are prepared, you can face change and the stress it may bring.
How to Prepare for Change
Change is inevitable and the opening and closing of chapters in life will happen no matter if you are ready or not. Let’s take the proactive approach and choose to prepare:
Anticipate What is Coming Down the Pipeline: Many changes in a person’s life can be anticipated, but many times we choose to ignore or deny the impending change. When we choose to face change head on, even before it’s arrival, we are able to handle it much more successfully. In the pre-change period we can think through how the change will affect us and how we can choose to find some positive aspects to the change. If that feels too optimistic, then we can choose to accept and move on instead.
Be Calm and Move Through It: Sometimes we make such a big deal about an impending change that it has become the veritable mountain out of a molehill. Sometimes it is just best to move through to the next chapter without so much fanfare. Keeping it calm and even-keeled can keep the stress levels down.
Acknowledge the Anxiety: If the anxiety of change has grabbed a hold of you, the best thing you can do is to face that anxiety head on by acknowledging it. If you are scared or unsure, that is ok. If it makes you feel better, talk your fears out with a trusted friend. They may be able to lend some perspective to the situation you hadn’t considered.
Live in the Present: It is easy to get caught up in the emotions of what has happened or what might happen. When you let those feelings take over, you have chosen to not live presently. Be grateful for the moment in time you are in today and don’t relive the past or awfulize the future.
Time Out: When change happens, it can be overwhelming and take up much of your energy. Put yourself in a self-imposed time out to take a break from what might be going on. Talk a walk, take a nap or do something you enjoy that takes your mind off of the change. Even 10 minutes of stopping and taking a break for yourself can be enough to recharge your batteries.
Whether the chapter you are opening or closing is happy, sad, intended or a complete surprise, your ability to manage the change will determine your experience. SoulShine’s series will cover major life chapters like parenthood, empty nest, divorce, career, getting a pet and more. Join us throughout the month of September to delve further into these life moments.
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.