Got Change? 5 Tips for Self-Management

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times – The only thing we can guarantee is that CHANGE is the new normal.

wooden yogaIt’s here to stay and comes at us not only in our work environment, but in our personal lives. Getting married, having kiddos, moving into a new home, dealing with an illness, caring for aging parents, becoming empty nesters (my personal change this month!), the list goes on.

Couple that with all the change that’s going on at work and BAM! You’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and generally living in a state of crankiness!

What to do?

Last time I checked there was still no magic pill or silver bullet available over-the-counter or with your local pharmacist.

So, here are a few tips I’ve discovered and feel inclined to share – spoiler alert … they all have to do with self-care:

  •  Do something FOR YOURSELF … generally best if done BY YOURSELF – So often we spend all our energy on supporting others and put ourselves last. I’m here to tell you, that’s a bad plan. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll be no good to anyone else. You won’t have the energy or inclination. Trust me, I know from personal experience. This could be some form of exercise, reading, meditating, gardening … the world’s your oyster!
  • Leverage your support network – these are the people who love you for who you are. Let them know what’s going on and ask for their help or use them for advice or simply venting your emotions.
  • Eat right & sleep well – I know I truly sound like your mom here, but it’s solid advice. When your body is not nourished properly with healthy food and restful sleep you simply cannot deal with the craziness you’ll face in the day. I know…this is much easier said than done, but raising your awareness may impact the choices you make about what you put into your body, which also impacts how you sleep! Try turning off the TV during the late night news, which is often filled with bad news, and read something uplifting or just simply put yo’ head on yo’ pillow and close yo’ eyes.
  • Do a self-assessment on how to handle change – This insight can increase awareness about what sparks negative/anxious feelings when dealing with a change situation.
    • Is change easy for you?
    • Reflect on a past change and think about how you dealt with it. What made it challenging? What did you do that helped you manage through the change?
    • What did you learn from that past experience that you can apply to this situation?
  • Identify your triggers that put you out of “your happy place” – When you know the triggers that send you over the edge or to a dark corner, you can plan for how to react in a more productive manner. Here are a few common scenarios:
    • Leadership” is not sharing information in a timely manner so people are making up their own answers.
      • ACTION TO TAKE – stay away from the break-room or groups of people commiserating in an office; don’t start speculating with others.
    • Swirling in a pool of “unknowns.”
      • ACTION TO TAKE – Focus on what you DO know and keep churning out the work. The more time focused on work, the less time for the brain to shift into “what if” paranoia.
    • Having no say or input into what’s happening.
      • ACTION TO TAKE – Volunteer to be a part of a task-force or group to help develop solutions. Schedule time with your manager to offer ideas/solutions … even if they are unsolicited.

think one of key reasons change is so hard for people is because there is a loss of control.  Remember to take control of what is in your control, use whatever method works best for you to let go of the rest.

People will marvel at your ability be resilient in the midst of madness … and to think that “power” was found from within all this time!

Martha Duesterhoft is a Partner with PeopleResults.  Follow her on Twitter @mduesterhoft or connect via email at