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Protests, Riots and A Pandemic: We Can Navigate Necessary Change in a Healthy Way

While no one really enjoys change, it is necessary for growth. Here's how to navigate change in a healthy way.



Today as I write this we are still in the grips of protests, riots, and a pandemic. Whether or not to leave our homes, and where to go when we do, is largely dictated by these three circumstances. This is a far cry from how we used to determine our schedules every day. And that's just what's going on in the world around us.


In our homes we are dealing with the financial repercussions of our nation shutting down for the first time in history, changes related to how we utilize our gifts, talents, and skills at work and at home, and uncertainty over whether or not our kids will ever go back to a normal routine for school.


Face it, change is everywhere.


How we process all the changes we are facing will largely determine how successful we become in this next season of life in our nation, our community and in our homes.


Typically, in order to manage change, most of us work to make plans. We set goals, create steps to achieve them, and plan out our schedules accordingly. However, with the state of chaos our entire nation is in, those typical steps may not be the best use of our time.


While we may feel uncomfortable not using our typical system to set goals, develop action steps, and make plans, we CAN navigate this season in a healthy manner so the we move forward into whatever is next for each of us. Here's how.


Admit there is grief over the losses you have experienced.

We have all experienced loss. Denying it because our loss is not as great as others' or even comparing the kinds of loss we have experience stifles our ability to grow. Instead of comparing or judging your experience, name it and feel it.


Admit your anger over the state of our nation, communities, and home lives.

No one asked for any of this to happen to them, their families, their businesses/companies, their communities or their country. No one. Yet, we all must still deal with the repercussions of all of it. It's OK to be angry; but what you do with that anger matters. Denying it only prepares it to explode in unwarranted ways. Instead, name it and release it in healthy ways.


Accept that what was will probably never be again.

Life as we knew it is gone. Planning to "get back to normal" only hurts our chances of moving forward in a healthy way. Normal is evolving; how we adjust to the changes that come will determine if we are healthy or not.


Assess the reality of your current situation.

We all want to hope things will get better, but they won't without us. We each must take stock of our current realities. Really look at our personal and professional lives with the goal of assessing where we are so that we can better understand how we each need to move forward.


Commit to adjusting from a "Judger Mindset" to a "Learner Mindset."

For the sake of ourselves, our communities, and our country, we can assess the amount of judgement we harbor toward ourselves and others and commit to turning those judgements into learning opportunities. None of us is perfect, but each of us is created equal. We can learn about ourselves and others instead of judge.


Determine the personal changes you want to make.

Only after assessing our personal realities and judgements can we determine what to do about them. Ignoring them or hoping they will just take care of themselves creates problems; focusing on what can be done about them creates progress.


Create one "next best step" to move forward.

We can all analyze what we are experiencing but without choosing what to do about it we can become paralyzed in that analysis. Additionally, we can become so overwhelmed by all that is in front of us that we freeze. Moving forward in a healthy was can happen when we stop and ask: "What is the one next best thing I can do?


We may not be able to control anything going on around us, but we can control our reaction to it. Choosing to navigate the changes we are all experiencing in a healthy way can collectively help our families, communities and nation heal well.


Join the Conversation: What is one thing you can do to navigate the changes you are facing in a healthy way?

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Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
stephanie@stephaniehaynes.net
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