Seven ways to manage change and transitions

Seven ways to manage change

The ability to manage change is an essential skill. Change, like death and taxes, pursues us throughout our lives. Jennifer Katzenstein says, ‘A life transition is any major life event that alters our sense of self, our purpose, and how we go from day-to-day’.

Nothing stays static. We move houses, change jobs, marry and divorce, have children, suffer the loss of people and things we hold dear. Our careers take us in different directions and external events change our society for better or worse. People get sick and injured.

Sometimes we choose change. But often it is thrust upon us when we least expect it. Whether we choose them or not, these times always bring stress.

Read more: Seven ways to manage change and transitions

Alteration is movement. It brings with it friction as we rub between what was and what will be in the future. The friction often creates deep pain and hurt, bewilderment and shock, stress and anxiety because we are disrupting the status quo. It is normal and healthy to exerience negative feelings in times of change.

Mostly we recover and find new life, excitement and greener pastures.

Why me?

I’m currently experiencing a major life change. I’m adjusting to no longer caring for my frail aged husband and to living alone. Why would I write this post at this time? About to enter my eighty-seventh year, I’ve seen, managed and mismanaged a great deal of personal and organisational change. Writing will remind me of what I know and to share with you.

Some quotes about how others manage change

Here are a few quotes I’ve found interesting.

  • ‘You must do the thing you think you cannot do.’ – Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • ‘Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.’ – John C Maxwell
  • ‘Often, God shuts a door in our face, and then subsequently opens the door through which we need to go.’ – Catherine Marshall.
  • ‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.’ – Albert Einstein.
  • ‘To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often.’ – Winston Churchill.
  • ‘The most dangerous phrase in the language is, “We’ve always done it this way…”.’ – Admiral Grace Hoppe.

One book I return to over and over is Julia Cameron’s Transitions: Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life

Some ideas to manage change

1. THINK ABOUT PAST EXPERIENCE. What was the last big change you made? Remember what you did and how you got through that. Does anything you did apply to this situation?

2. ASK YOURSELF HOW MUCH YOU CAN CONTROL. Even though it might feel as if you have no control, there are always things you can do to ease the process of change. Make a list of things, however small, and tick items off as you complete them.

3. ACCEPT AND REFRAME. Even when there is very little you can control, view this as an opportunity to learn and grow. Being at peace is a far better option than trying to wage an unwinnable war!

4. BE POSITIVE. Focus on the positives. This can help manage change. Try to be optimistic and search for even small benefits that may come from the new situation.

5. PROBLEM SOLVE AND SET SOME GOALS FOR YOURSELF. This is one way to address changes proactively.

6. MANAGE YOUR STRESS. As difficult as it may seem, it is possible to manage your stress by taking care of yourself, getting enough sleep and exercise, eating properly. There are more suggestions in my post ‘Resilience, the art and skill.’

7. FIND SUPPORT AND USE IT. This might involve talking about how you feel with family and friends. It may involve getting professional support from a lawyer or counsellor. Telephone and online support is also available.

Crisis Support Agency   phone 11 13 14

Thank you

Thanks for reading my blogs. I always love to read what you think in the comments. Perhaps you have other suggestions for managing change. Please let us know. To get an email when I post a new blog, type your email below and hit ‘subscribe’.

signature, maureen helen
Author Maureen Helen


  1. Yet another insightful post, Maureen.
    I value your courage in sharing about the changes in your life. As always, your post is filled with wisdom.
    Much love as you move forward.

  2. We nearly lost our home when our daughter left her husband. We were very careful who we told & tried to work it out alone as we were ashamed!!!!(silly) not our fault. Then a lovely trusted neighbour sent us to a barrister that he knew & things began , very slowly to worked out.It has cost us much stress & some expense but that advice has been gold & the barrister didn’t charge us for his services. It was that knowledge of a caring man that saved our sanity. Be wise with whom you share your problems but a trusted person just could hold the key. 🙏🌹

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter, Maureen. Broken marriages seem to leave a trail of uncomfortable feelings, like shame and guilt, all of which are hard to deal with. I hope she is recovering (and you and your husband also) and that all is well with your family. Having a lawyer to trust is a huge relief, and so is the understanding and support of family and friends.

      1. Thankyou Maureen Helen, we are doing much better. As you, we do have some beautiful people surrounding us all. We are thankful.🙏

  3. You are so positive, Maureen and I feel proud to know you.

    You put me to shame; I’ve just spent the morning feeling sorry for myself because of an aching neck!
    A painful neck is nothing compared to everything you carry on your shoulders.

    1. I’ve had a few knocks and bruises on my way to being almost 86, Sue W. At first I was in disbelief – like how could this be happening and how would I deal with yet another blow. I did not see it coming before it actually did, although looking back, of course I can see signs of the impending upheaval. I didn’t recognise them. Amazing the difference it makes looking in the rear vision mirror! I’m blessed with loving friends and family, a good lawyer and things to keep me busy, which helps a lot in crisis situations. A painful neck is a painful neck, no matter what is causing it. Do you know why your neck is sore? Would a massage help? Look after yourself, my friend.

Comments are closed.