Door 43 wellbeing blog: Dealing positively with change and ambiguity   

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Dealing positively with change and ambiguity   

Sadie White No Comment

In these blogs our Door 43 team will provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and social media channels along with information about how to access our new online channels as they develop.  

This week our wellbeing worker Annis will be looking at the subject of change and how to deal with the anxieties that might manifest as a result. 

Hiya, I’m Annis and I’m fairly new in, working as a Wellbeing Practitioner at Door 43.  I decided to write about the topic of change as it’s something we are all currently living with right now and can feel like a frightening and an unsettling experience.  

I was so excited to start my new job at Sheffield Futures and  I thought I was doing OK with a change in job until the pandemic hit and like everyone else, my working and living habits suddenly changed. 

So, I started to ask myself, how am I going to deal with this very unique and odd experience we are currently facing?  How do we manage such a drastic change in our lives?  How do we stay safe both mentally and physically?  For me, the biggest barrier I face is not being able to do the things I love doing which has always had a way of recharging my batteries both mentally and physically.  We are not allowed to go out in groups, mix with our friends, or do many of the ordinary things that make life enjoyable and fun!  So instead of focusing on what we are not able to do, I wanted to focus on what I could do to make make my life more bearable. 

I can for example, go for a run to get some fresh air, put things in perspective, try and improve my physical  fitness and ability to run up hills without going purple and feeling like my lungs will collapse!  That is definitely a bonus!  I am not a natural runner and  began with the Couch to 5K programme If you have never run but are considering it, try looking at this, it’s a great way to start.  Prior to using this, I would get out of breath running up the stairs but now I can run 5K (although very slowly!)Running is free, a great way to have a break from problems and it builds your physical stamina.  I use it as time out to think about the changes I am  currently facing and think about potential solutions to those problems.  That is what works for me and it may work for you!  Why not give running a go? 

Another thing I’ve noticed that I find useful is focusing on the positives that the new changes to my life have brought with them I suppose it’s making a list of things that I am grateful for which can help to lift feelings of despair and dread while accepting and respecting the severity of the situation. My heart naturally goes out to those who are ill with the virus and all those at risk but amongst this sadness there are most definitely very good things happening in the world. Human nature at its best is also present. I’ve started to hear and see huge acts of kindness being demonstrated both on social media and in my personal life. Neighbours taking time out to do shopping for the elderly and those at risk, people volunteering to help out at the hospitals who are in desperate need of support and even shop keepers offering to make deliveries to those who cannot get out and shop for themselves.  These things made me realise that if we are considerate of others and try our best to help where we can, these acts of kindness help us to feel better about ourselves and help others to feel valued.  In terms of my experience really appreciated it when someone offered to help me and spend time showing me systems I was unfamiliar with in my new job and help me manage this whole new way of communicating on social media! Thanks guys you know who you are!  Having a long standing and deep hatred for technology, the recent changes have tested my ability to accept and manage change.  I am starting to realise that perhaps computers do not hate me afterall, they just need a little more patience and time spent with them to understand their ways of working!  It was a bit like being in a new relationship and using trial and error to see what works for the two of us!  I am not saying I have it sorted, but I think I am beginning to learn the basic art of computer communication!  So,  if you are learning to manage a new way of working which includes working in isolation, try asking for help, I know I was surprised and relieved when I got the support I wanted.  I am sure there will be someone to help you too!  The wellbeing staff at Door 43 have now adapted their ways of working so we can connect with you online, or over the phone, so If you are feeling you need to talk to someone, please contact us!   

While working from home I realised how much time I wasted being sat in endless traffic jams and getting angry at other drivers just for being on the road!  I am thankful I do not have this daily battle with aggressive drivers and those who honk their horns at you for no obvious reason.  Taking, the time out to appreciate positive aspects of the recent changes has helped me feel calmer and more hopeful  about what has happened and it could help you.    

Writing this blog has helped me put things in perspective and realise change is inevitable and made me realise that things will slowly start to return to “normal” or at the least become more recognisable. If you are someone who enjoys writing their thoughts and feelings why not write a blog yourself? This is my first attempt (which may be obvious) so you do not need to be an expert.  Or if blogging is not for you, why not write a mood journal so you can collect your personal thoughts and feelings and allow yourself time to process the very strange changes in your life. 

I have been grateful for the beautiful weather we have been given over the last few days as it acts as a reminder that Summer is on its way, life moves on and at the same time it reminded me how much I love being in nature! Nature can be hugely therapeutic and calming and we are allowed to take daily walks if we keep our distance from others.  If walking is not your usual thing, why not give it go? 

Below is a diagram that demonstrates a theory about how we respond to change and how it can impact on our lives. Most people will identify with the shock, denial and frustration elements of the diagram and people will vary in how long they stay in certain stages.  For me, I feel I am currently in the Experiment stage which creates a mixture of emotions.  I like the idea that there is only one more stage of acceptance before I learn to integrate the new changes that I am currently living with.  The diagram may help you to recognise where you are in your own life and realise that it is totally normal to feel this huge range of emotions and thoughts.  Remember we are in this together!  Stay safe everyone! 

Here are 7 ways to manage change  

  1. Have a plan.  Change is essential for us to grow, expand and thrive 
  2. Set a goal  A goal that is realistic and achievable for yourself in the near future 
  3. Define the change – Describe what the change or changes are  
  4. Celebrate the old – So we may miss our old ways of working and living but we can remember and celebrate them –  perhaps share stories on Facebook, look at old pictures with your friends and colleagues 
  5. Articulate Challenges – Maybe write down what you think will be a challenge for you or your family/friends without making negative predictions about what could happen   
  6. Listen carefully to others  can they offer advice, tips or guidance on how to manage change at work or at home 
  7. Find key influencers – Sometimes we can get inspiration from others who overcame very difficult circumstances or personal loss  YouTube is a great way to hear success stories.  

Positive quote to finish with 

Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.” Sean Higgins 

Check out the Door 43 team over on Insta each day.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.