Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surviving Change

Change is designed to produce stress.  Not all stress is bad, of course, but managing our stress is always important, especially during times of change.  There are some things to keep in mind that may make change more tolerable if not enjoyable!

First, pray.  If your change was voluntary, you have probably been praying all along for discernment.  If it was involuntary, you have undoubtedly been praying for patience and strength.  Either way, you would do well to continue to nourish a healthy prayer life.  Make it a daily practice and invite others to join you in prayer during this time of change. As you share specific prayer requests, you will also more clearly articulate the things that are causing you concern or fear.

Second, take care of yourself.  This is not the time to give up your regular exercise program or drastically change your diet.  If you have a routine that works well for you and promotes physical vitality, keep it up.  If you don’t, this might be a time to start something.

Third, keep family ties strong.  As you experience change, your spouse and children will as well, especially if the change involves geographic relocation, new place to live, or a change in work schedule.  The more you talk about these changes and negotiate new routines, the less stress you all will experience.

Fourth, move ahead.  Once you have made the decision to make a change, do it!  Your mind will already be on your next place of work or ministry, so at best your attention will be divided with your present position getting the lesser part of your time and attention.  No matter what you do, hanging around will not make things easier for you or the organization you are leaving.

Fifth, be prepared to accept discomfort.  Acknowledge that change is hard, even if you have chosen it.  Allow yourself to acknowledge discomfort and some level of grief.

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