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Top tips for dealing with change.


I’m writing this post on my way to CMC’s Christmas Party….at the end of January.

Sounds odd, doesn’t it? We had everything set up for December, the meal was booked, Christmas jumpers and sparkly dresses were prepped and we were all really looking forward to actually meeting the people we’d only seen virtually all year. And then, of course, the rail strikes changed everything. The party date had to be moved at short notice. The meal was put on hold, jumpers and dresses put back in the drawer and disappointed Christmas passed over the inevitable Teams call. Just another (relatively minor) change to chalk up to experience.

We all face change, all of the time. Some of us thrive on that change and the opportunities and excitement it can bring. For others, changes heighten negative thoughts and feelings, increasing stress levels and, potentially impacting on their mental health. Unfortunately, things are never that simple. Circumstances can mean that normally positive people are negatively impacted by change and vice versa. Uncertainty bias means that our brains automatically view change as negative, so, even positive changes can be upsetting if they mean that a comfortable life could become different. Everyone, therefore, needs to find ways of coping with change.

If you are dealing with changes in your life, some of the following tips may help:

  • Focus on something familiar – Keeping to your daily routine, re-watching a favourite TV series or eating your favourite comfort food can help ease stress during a transition.
  • Understand your perspective in the world – Looking outside of your situation and seeing how everything is in movement may make problems smaller and more manageable.
  • Be flexible – Letting go of expectations and restrictions in your life will make new things seem less scary.
  • Talk to people to understand – Sharing your feelings with someone you trust will make new experiences easier to handle.
  • See the humour – Finding the absurd in changes and laughing about it will make those changes easier to face.

For those of us in CMC, today’s party has been a long time coming but after the initial disappointment of the postponement, it has been something to really look forward to at a normally flat time of year. Change can be overwhelming but can also bring joy. I hope that your ‘Christmas Party change’ is enjoyable and fun, whatever it is and whenever it occurs.

By Mark Dalrymple-Smith, Head of Portfolio, Programme & Project Management at CMC Partnership Consultancy Ltd

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