It’s completely normal to experience a range of reactions and emotions when experiencing change at work. Many people describe feeling powerless, anxious, angry or overwhelmed; others may feel hopeful or excited at the possibility of new opportunities.
What are some of the tricks to coping well during uncertain times?
- Manage your mindset. Most importantly, make sure you are not “catastrophising” or “personalising” the situation (e.g. “This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me! And it’s all my fault!”). While these are understandable reactions, they are not helpful! Both these mindsets will ramp up negative feelings and make it difficult for you to focus on proactive coping. Instead, work on keeping your thinking flexible, big picture and future-orientated, as well as realistically optimistic – for example, “This is tough right now, I’m going to tackle things a step at a time”.
- Give and receive support. Stay connected to people who are important to you. Let them know how you are and ask for help – emotional and practical. Talk with colleagues who are also experiencing change – how can you support one another in a positive way?
- Make your wellbeing a priority. Take charge of your routine and lifestyle to ensure you are getting good quality sleep, eating well, exercising and staying active, and moderating the amount of alcohol and caffeine you are using. Also, schedule recovery breaks into your day and make sure you are taking time off work, including taking leave for holidays. Recharging your batteries regularly will help you manage your mindset as well.
- Plan enjoyable activities and things to look forward to. Schedule at least one pleasurable experience every day. It doesn’t have to be a big thing – perhaps a walk in the sunshine, meeting a friend for a movie, taking your children to the park or having coffee with a colleague whose company you enjoy.
- Access workplace resources. Sign up for training and development opportunities, take up offers for career planning or advice, book some EAP sessions to talk through your options, talk with a manager you trust about options and advice for navigating this period of change.
Bouncing back from life’s challenges can be difficult.
The following links can help: A resilient approach to setbacks | Resilience in hard times