Coping with change: A comprehensive self care guide for difficult years

Are you having trouble coping with change?

This has been a hell of a year. There hasn’t been more global political tension since maybe the last world war. We’re living in a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 100k people. People’s professional lives have been completely turned upside down.

I have definitely struggled with remaining adaptable through the challenges the Diffusing the Tension family has faced the past several months. I have faced unimaginable grief, and sometimes I find myself asking: Why is coping with change so damn complicated?

Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

We are conditioned to believe that in hard times you have to be strong or smart to claw your way to the top. It’s about what you know, who you know, and if you don’t outmuscle your struggles, you’ll never get past them.

That may not be true! You just have to be able to adapt to change.

Thank you so much to Jennifer for sharing this guest post with me. If you need some help coping with change right now, keep reading for some helpful advice and a printable worksheet!

Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with depression and anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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A year of massive change

There is no denying that this has been one heck of a year so far. And while many of the events that have happened year-to-date are negative, the pandemic (and the way the world has changed because of it) opened up many new opportunities for people across the United States.

Here are just a few examples of negatives that, with the right mindset, can be turned into positive experiences.

Worries about the real estate market

One of the most unique things about the current recession is that it really has not affected the real estate market that much. People are a bit more cautious about buying and selling, but if you have to move, it’s a great time to do just that.

Fortunately, technology has made it super easy to video tour a home or to attend a virtual open house. Keep in mind, as Redfin points out, that buying a home now depends more on your financial situation than where we are on the virus’s timeline. And if you are selling, you can go to bed thankful each night that the buyers who are actually touring your home in person are likely the most serious.

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Coping with change at work

It might sound counterintuitive, but if you have lost your job via layoff or furlough, this is probably the best time in history for that to have happened. Not only have you likely been eligible for extra cash via unemployment to help keep you afloat, you have time to pursue your passions, and the technology is available to aid you in those pursuits.

If you enjoy graphic design, web development, or writing, for example, you can refine these skills and start freelancing. Even traditionally in-office jobs, like accounting and sales, can be done remotely. Online job platforms for freelancers can even help you launch your own business so that you do not have to sit around and wait for your employer to call— one more bonus of the age in which we live.

If you are still working, there is a good chance that you moved to a work-at-home situation. While it may have been difficult at first, you’re likely settled in quite nicely, and your spouse and children have probably gotten used to having you around during the day. As NPR notes, many employers are considering keeping remote work as an option since experiencing no decline in productivity, despite hastily putting together an off-site work plan.

Make self care a priority

Historically, mental health was a taboo topic. But, as millions of people have found out, isolation is a quick route to depression, anxiety, and stress. It’s unfortunate that it took a pandemic to make mental health a priority, but here we are.

Hopefully, you’ve learned how to manage stress by now and have a new appreciation for things like yoga, hot baths, and journaling as ways to relax, decompress, and focus on yourself. You can even download printable worksheets through Diffusing the Tension, right from the comfort of your own home.

As Americans, we are woefully dependent on paid services. But with salons and other hands-on help closed for months, we’re getting pretty good at self-sufficiency. We’re learning how to do things like cut our own hair and start a garden.

And instead of going it completely alone, we’re adding furry friends to our lives. Hundreds of thousands of us learned to appreciate the joys of pet ownership, as animal shelters across the country are blissfully under-crowded.

Simple self care ideas for help coping with change

Here is a quick list of self care ideas that will make coping with change during this time so much easier:

  • Write in a journal for 5 minutes a day
  • Take a daily walk around the block
  • Drink 64oz of water daily
  • Stop hitting snooze
  • Make an appointment with a therapist
  • Unfollow negative people on your newsfeed

Free printable “coping with change” worksheets

You can download these printable tools to use to figure out what areas of life change is affecting you the most. Click each image to download!

What to keep in mind

Not all of these changes will apply to everyone. But they do serve as a great reminder that out of the ashes of crisis comes opportunities to reignite the best parts of ourselves. If you change your mindset and accept the unexpected as a… Share on twitter

Do you struggle in coping with change? If so, let us know in the comments so we can support you. Also, please share this post using the buttons up top if you found it helpful!


About the Author

Jennifer Scott is a single mom who writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder.org.

The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences. Based in Philadelphia, she enjoys traveling, working with animals, and seeking out new friendships and adventures.


Thank you so much, Jennifer, for sharing this post. Coping with change is so challenging sometimes, but with the right tools (and some motivation) it’s certainly possible.

Don’t let the fear of change keep you from reaching your goals!


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