sailing through change

Change.  This one word can leave us with a host of emotions, both positive and negative.

For some, the word invokes a feeling of hope and excitement, while for others a feeling of loss and fear.  Whatever side of the fence you’re on, we all encounter change at one point or another.  As I write this article, we are facing an enormous global change given the outbreak of COVID-19.  What may have felt like something that was far away from us is now hitting close to home and causing us to overhaul our daily work and home routines to adjust to a “new normal”.  Even when we aren’t dealing with a global crisis, there are many other life events that can leave us feeling anxious and uncertain.

While change is inevitable, we can control how we respond to it. Here are four words to help you “SAIL” through whatever change is present in your life, big or small.  

Silver lining – focus on the positive side of the change, as difficult as it may seem.  Maybe you lost your job of 20 years.  This could be an opportunity to start the business you have been dreaming about but have been putting off all this time.  Think of a time you went through a drastic change only to come out of it better and stronger than you were before. Once you pick yourself up and dust yourself off from whatever life brings you, there are always silver linings.

Adapt – what we resist persists.  In other words, in order to move forward we must first accept the change, whether it was our choice or forced upon us.  Think about all the technological advances that have been made over the past decades.  From smart phones to social networking the world isn’t the same place as it was 20 years ago (nor should it be).  While some may have been slower to adapt to technological change than others, it is difficult today to find a person who isn’t texting on their iPhone or doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account.   

Improvise – get creative.  With the global virus crisis rampant, many of us are finding alternative ways to keep connecting at a distance.  We may not be able to have coffee with our Zumba classmates or toast the end of the work week at the local pub with our favourite friends, but that doesn’t have stop us from having a video chat with our besties.  In fact, we may find we are connecting more now than in the past as we are forced to slow down and have more time for meaningful conversations (silver lining!)

Laugh – when all else fails, we simply must laugh.  Laughter really is the best medicine, it has been shown to improve physical and emotional health, which is especially needed in times of uncertainty which can create stress.  Whether we are chuckling over the absurdity in the world (e.g. the shortage of toilet rolls) or watching reruns of Friends it is essential to make humour a priority in our lives.   

Best wishes for smooth sailing ahead!