Coping with the Uncertainties of the New Year

Change. It is one thing that no one can avoid, and that comes more often then we’d like. There will inevitably be changes coming in 2020, some we will like and many we will not.

How do we find our way through the maze of changes that are coming into our lives in the next year? What can we do to cope? Those questions are two that I’d like to address in this piece.

Navigating The Maze of Change

I’ll look back in a year and ponder about how prophetic it sounds. I will have wound my way through the twists and turns that change has wrought in my own life by then.

There will be deaths, births, a Presidential election, and many other momentous events in 2020 that will, directly and indirectly, affect each of us. The maze of change will catch us off-guard and force us to look hard at ourselves and wonder if we will thrive and sometimes survive what it throws at us.

The most significant thing to remember as we all slide down the slope of time is that change is part of life so why be afraid of it? Why not face change with courage and determination?

Oh, I know, some changes will take the wind out of us and knock us down to the ground. However, we have a choice. We can lay there and not get up, allowing life to happen to us or take up the reigns and make the best of the changes that we can. In other words, be resilient and no one does that better than a survivor.

How to Cope with Change

There are as many ways to cope with change as there are human beings on planet earth. However, I’ve listed below the coping skills I know and have utilized in my own life.

Recognize that things will change. Practice not being in denial about change. It will come no matter how you buck against it. Relax into change and roll with it. After all, what choice do you have? Say to yourself when the winds of change blow that you are capable of handling it and that whatever the change is, you will persevere.

 Talk Yourself Through Change. Give yourself regular self-talks either in your mind or out loud about the changes that are happening in your life. Practice mindfulness and recognize what and how you are feeling about what is going on. If there is fear, admit it, and ask why you are so fearful. Remember, even death is a natural part of life and that will help you to get through recognizing just how mortal we all indeed are.

Recognize that Good Change is Stressful Too. Positive changes, such as the birth of a child or graduation, can be a significant source of dread and stress. Allow yourself to feel the emotions that flood you whenever you think of the good changes in your life. It is okay to feel apprehensive or even fearful over good changes just as it is bad.

Don’t Isolate; Seek Support. There is no way that you, or any human for that matter, can go through life without reaching out for support sometimes. The forces of change can make us feel alone, frightened, and like victims, so we need to have someone we can talk to and who will listen without judgment. If you have no friends or relatives that fit the bill, then seek out the help of a mental health professional.

Allow Yourself to Vent. When you feel overwhelmed by the changes that are happening in your life, it is good to vent them to the trusted person you have chosen. Tell them how frustrated, afraid, etc. you feel and allow yourself to pour it all out. Then, after a selected length of time, calm yourself and move on. One cannot live in the emotions that accompany venting for too long without getting lost. It’s good to be angry and express it but do not live there.

Be Proactive. You can be proactive by taking charge of what you can in your life and doing things to prevent situations that are in your control. Find the steps you need to consider before something bad happens and do what is necessary. If you are worried about your health in the coming year, take steps to avoid that change. Go to the doctor, exercise, get more rest, and change your diet to eat better. There are dozens of ways to be proactive and avoid some of the harmful changes that could come your way in 2020.

Cut Yourself a Break. There are tons of events that will happen in 2020 over which you will have no control. Resolve on December 31 to make some changes in your life, but remember you are only human and liable to make mistakes or fail. Allow yourself room to be human and have fun in life. Laugh often, enjoy your friends and family and be grateful for the things you do have rather than investing time wishing you had the things you don’t.

Write Down What You Learned from a Change. Once in a while, sit with a piece of paper and a pen and write down what you have learned from a change that has happened in your life. If someone has died, write down what things you learned from that person while they were alive. If you have had a significant health problem crop up, write down what you have learned about yourself during the crisis. Write down things you are grateful for from a change. That is more difficult than it sounds if the change was a bad one, but in recognizing what you are thankful for after a significant change, you ground yourself in today and leave the hurt behind.

A Word from the Author

I look forward to spending the next year with you and I hope you will keep coming to my blog site to read my work. I am thoroughly humbled by the response my writing has received in the world and look forward to writing many more informative pieces for you.

May you have a safe and happy New Year!


“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.” ~ Stephen Chbosky

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Rob Siltanen






2 thoughts on “Coping with the Uncertainties of the New Year

  1. Hi Shirley. Did you know that in Chinese writing, the characters (the word) for crisis*a change with bad stress) is a combination of the characters for “danger” and “opportunity?” I like what you said about good stress. My wife and I came to recognize the existence of good stress when we bought our first house; got a permanent, full-time job; and had our third child, all in the space of about one year.


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