Coping with Change in the Workplace

We all expect change in our workplace and in our work roles. Still, change can be stressful. Change that is unplanned or unwanted can affect your moods and your health. You may feel angry, depressed or unmotivated. You might even notice sleep problems, headaches or loss of appetite. The good news is that you can control how you react to change. These tips can help you feel calmer, healthier and more committed to work.

Six tips for coping with change

1. Prepare. Think about steps you can take to be ready for change. For example, take all the training you can to keep your job skills current and your résumé updated.

2. Stay positive. Allow yourself positive and negative feelings during a time of change, but try to stay focused on the positive. Negative feelings like bitterness and blame drain your time and energy. Remember, change can also mean opportunity in the future.

3. Focus on what you can control. Many aspects of change are completely out of your control. Pay attention to – and act on – those things in which you can have a positive impact. You will feel more in control of events that affect you personally and professionally. Focusing on what you can control will help to drown out those thoughts that creep in telling you what you cannot control.

4. Accept change. If you accept change as a constant in your work life, it’s less likely to overwhelm you.

5. Take care of your health. Even a short daily walk can reduce stress and anxiety, help you sleep better and increase your appetite. And a gentle stretch can work wonders for muscle aches that creep up during times of stress. A good night’s sleep, yoga, meditation, or a massage may also help you feel healthier.

6. Keep your work and life balanced. An increased workload may tempt you to bring work home or work long hours. Create time to step away from work demands, to relax and re-energize. Keep in mind that it’s even more important to recharge during periods of increased stress.

Yes, change is part of life. But as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus once observed, “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.”


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