When Change is Unwelcome

By Melanie Wolf, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (mwolf@sdicouples.com)

The fall season marks the beginning of Daylight Savings. Even if the darker mornings make for difficult waking, many welcome the time change as afternoons stretch a little longer and the evenings settle in a bit gentler than the winter months - the extra light can feel so hopeful after the shorter, darker days. 

But change isn’t always as expected or welcome.

Unwelcome change can come in many forms: a new supervisor, sudden change or loss of a job, diagnosis of illness, death of a loved one, or the delay of much needed relief. One of the most disorienting parts of unexpected or unwelcome change is the lack of control that accompanies it. Often times the circumstances can’t be reversed and we are forced to adjust our plans, hopes, and expectations.

Responding to unexpected or unwelcome change varies significantly by person and circumstance, but a few key things can help these disorienting times feel less distressing.

  • Self Care: in times of change self care can feel elusive and unimportant - but it is actually all the more critical. Taking care of your physical body (adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and fresh air) can help protect and enhance the mental and emotional energy you need. These things don’t need to be extreme - in fact sometimes the simpler the better. Breathe, Eat, Move, Sleep, Repeat.

  • Connection: while not always the first instinct, reaching out to known support networks near and far can add strength and practical help. Letting people in your life know you need their support can be the first step to getting it. This might be friends, family, a church or social network. 

Professional Help: You may also find that your known resources feel insufficient. Adding support through medical and counseling professionals can help bridge the gap. Asking for help can make all the difference. If you find yourself here, our therapists would love to support you. #WeKnowHowToHelp.