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March 31, 2020

14 Tips for Coping with Unexpected Change and the Unknown

We are living in unprecedented times that have created unexpected changes. Do you feel that these changes have been thrust upon you? Do you wonder how you’ll adjust? You are not alone. Often, when change happens, especially unexpected change, our first reaction is naturally to fight or take flight. Some people may try to fight it and stop it or take flight and run away. However, it’s best to try and maintain a positive attitude and go with the flow. You can’t control change, especially when it’s abrupt, but you can control your attitude and the way that you deal with something that is very different from your normal. Remember that resilience, one of the qualities that can lead to success, is the ability to cope with something different than you are used to. Be patient with yourself, give yourself time, take positive action and apply these tips to your life, and you will not only adjust to these unexpected changes, but thrive.

As you cope with the changes brought on by the pandemic, try some of these tried-and-true ideas and tips:

  1. Realize that facing change may make you feel vulnerable and commit to being proactive in responding to it.

  2. Identify your feelings and fears. What specifically may be making you sad or concerned?

  3. Focus on the possibilities. Being optimistic about outcomes doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be happy in the moment. Look long term and see the big picture.

  4. Think about past times when you have coped with change. When were they? How did you cope then? Make a list of things you did or qualities that helped.

  5. Look for the positive. Don’t allow yourself to feel like a victim. Change can be good.  There are silver linings to everything.

  6. Be flexible and try not to fight it. Recognize that some stress is OK and go with the flow.

  7. Look for support. Turn to friends, family, spouse, or anyone else who may have experienced similar situations or feelings.  Here at Roberts, we are here to help. You can contact the Counseling Center, your favorite faculty member, Redhawk Guide, or the Office of Student Success (arrendell_tabitha@roberts.edu), just to name a few…

  8. Talk about it with someone. As you talk about it, focus on problems and solutions and positives, and avoid focusing solely on your feelings.

  9. Take care of yourself. Stay healthy and focus on basic needs – eat well, get sleep, exercise, relax, do yoga, meditation and deep breathing.

  10. Take up some new activities and learn some new skills. Focus on your schoolwork and spending time with those near and dear to you.

  11. Have faith in yourself. Trust that you can do this!

  12. Allow yourself time to adjust. Remember that new habits and routines take time to develop.  Stability will come.

  13. Find the humor in situations. There is a light side to every situation you find yourself in.

  14. Avoid obsessing about the future. Live in and enjoy the present moment.

Reference: https://www.collegeparentcentral.com/2018/08/15-tips-to-help-you-and-your-student-cope-with-change/

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