Stress happens, but try to plan ahead to reduce its impact
All of us have times when life becomes hectic because of change.
Although we cannot always anticipate this change, sometimes we have advance knowledge of these alternations.
Let's look at some examples of significant milestones and how they may affect us.
The birth of a baby. As happy as this exciting event is, it can greatly disrupt the established routine. If it is a first child, the schedule will revolve around the newborn. If older siblings are present, the stress may be compounded as they learn to adjust to the newcomer.
Elective surgery. Pain and discomfort may be a part of this scenario. Reduced or changed post-operative activity may limit daily routines and activities. Being off work can also result in feelings of pressure.
Major changes in a new job. While most employees expect change when new assignments and responsibilities are added, learning a new skill, working longer hours, and having to travel are adjustments that can be unplanned and unexpected.
Moving. We live in a mobile society, but uprooting one's family and relocating in a new area can be stressful, especially if the unfamiliar location requires searching for new schools, churches, and making contacts and new friends. A move can be a kind of loss of old ties and established familiar scenes.
The stress of these situations can be reduced by preparing in advance as much as possible for the consequences of life changes.
Let's look at ways some of the stress can be reduced.
Begin by listing all of the changes and anticipated new demands that these events will produce. Add to this list as additional thoughts occur. Try not to wait until the change is about to occur before preparing the list.
As the list develops, design a strategy to cope with each one. Refine and revise the list as new ideas occur.
For example, plan ahead for the surgery, the birth of a baby or adjustment to a new job, by requesting assistance from friends and family for routine ongoing, needs.
When moving, perhaps you can make advance visits to the new locations to familiarize the family with schools, churches, shopping centers, and neighbors.
The stress of change can be reduced if you are able to plan in advance.
Harold H. LeCrone, Jr., Ph.D. Copyright © 2010