Understanding change limits on-job stresses
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
Q I am going through some big changes in my personal life that are stressful and are affecting my work. What can I do to minimize the impact this is having?
A When we are going through big changes that are stressful in our personal life, it can be difficult to separate it from our work.
You are not alone; it doesn’t matter if this change is good or bad, planned or unplanned. The transition time during any change can be stressful.
There is a widely used and powerful model called The Change Curve, originally modelled after Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s work back in the 1960s, that is worth looking at. In brief, there are four stages: Denial, resistance, exploration and commitment.
– Denial: Minimizing, ignoring, avoiding, focus on the past.
– Resistance: Anger, fear, anxiety, withdrawal, confusion, sadness.
– Exploration: Trying new things, being enthusiastic, making plans, focused on the future.
– Commitment: Making decisions, clarity, taking action, excited about the future.
Going through these stages is normal and recognizing where you are in the change cycle can empower you to move through the change process with greater ease.
Depending on the size/ impact of the change will determine how strongly you will feel these stages.
You may go in and out of different stages for a while too.
Do you recognize where you are in these stages?
You can minimize your stress at work by:
– Acknowledging and recognizing you are in transition.
– Getting support. Don’t go it alone!
– Not acting for the sake of action, especially if you are in denial or resistance. That is when you most want to get support, reflect and gather information.
– Taking good care of yourself: eating well, exercising, getting rest. Change takes a lot of mental, emotional and physical energy.