I really enjoy the change of seasons here in Idaho, especially winter to spring and summer to fall. I love to see the change of colors and feel the change of temperature. Sometimes it seems like the change of seasons takes a while longer and does not happen the way most of us would like. Sometimes, it feels like the weather can’t make up it’s mind. This type of change can feel chaotic and throw many for a loop.
The human condition is surrounded by change on a regular basis. Change can occur at any time, expected or not, and impacts so many aspects of life. Some change we can control and some we cannot.
Being human, we may respond to change with a variety of emotions and or reactions. How we respond to change often drives where we end up in the long run whether for better or for worse.
Small changes happen all the time and most people can adapt, but what about big changes? Much of what people fear in change may come in part from lack of control in the situation so change is often avoided for this same reason. However, the reality of how much control we have in life comes down to what we have control over, namely ourselves and our choices.
I have children and at times I wish I had control over them because a part of me fears that they could make mistakes that can have a negative impact on themselves or others. Nevertheless, I know no matter how hard I try, I have no control over them.
I have control over my ability to make positive choices, over what I teach them, setting good examples for them, and my overall parenting approach. So, if we want to work with change and build resilience, it is important that we understand how much control we have in a situation and to use that power to the best of our abilities.
Moving here to Pocatello was a big change for my family and me. One of the most helpful things I could do for me and my family was to take care of myself and be supportive of them, too.
We all felt a big loss with this change when moving away from friends and loved ones we had been close to for so many years. Supporting each other, talking about the change, and learning from this experience has been a big help to each of us. These are skills almost anyone can use when dealing with difficult changes to help build resilience.
If we see change as a trial or a hardship it can be helpful to find ways to draw strength and meaning from the event rather than see the event as defeating. This is not an easy thing to do but can be possible.
For example, my family and I moving to Pocatello could be viewed as an opportunity to discover a new place and new people, thus expanding and enriching our experiences. If we focus on all that we have lost it will be very difficult to draw strength and meaning.
There are times when change may feel overwhelming and may require support from others. If you or someone you love is struggling with difficult changes and they are negatively impacting the quality of daily living, please reach out to your local behavioral health provider or primary care specialist.
Daniel Park with Health West Inc. is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), native to Idaho, and has worked in mental health for over 10 years. He got his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Boise State University.