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Let’s admit it, life is rarely a steady walk along a straight path. No. Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes, these ups and downs are very extreme. Over the last 10 years, we’ve experienced some of the very large ups and downs including quite a few downs. However, we have persevered and survived as a family.
Just over a year and a half ago, I left my “out of the home” job. It was and was not my choice at the same time. I haven’t said much about it because it really spotlights how not all medical facilities follow accepted standard practices. (Please note that this was in another state.) About six months after that happened, we moved several states away for my husband’s new job. Several months after that, I headed back to work. So, I was out of the workforce for 9 months. Being out of work was challenging and stressful, like so many have experienced in the economic downturn over the last few years. And going back to work was challenging and stressful. Since we have walked this path, I want to share some tips that helped us to survive and to become closer as a family in the meantime.
5 Tips for Dealing with Change
- Prayer – I have heard people say that going through tough times is a punishment from God. Well, I don’t really believe that. However, I do believe that we all have challenges to make us stronger. If that’s true, we should be really strong by now… Anyway, even though the going is tough, it should not negatively impact our relationship with God. Pray for strength and for doors to be opened. Sometimes, the doors that are opened are the most unexpected doors of all. I never wanted to move to Pennsylvania because of the homeschool laws; however, that’s where God sent us. Obviously, God knew better because the jobs are good, and the kids have access to a great team of specialists that they needed.
- Family – Don’t shut your family out. Spend time together as a family and build the family bonds. Does that necessarily mean spending a lot of money on a trip or vacation? No. Head out to a nature trail to walk. Go in the back yard to play. It doesn’t take much. Just make sure that everyone knows that they are a valuable part of the family and have fun together. If you have children with special needs, this is extremely important as your children need to know that the stress you are feeling is not because or directed at them.
- Talk – Talk with your spouse or significant other. Don’t keep things bottled inside. Let him or her know about your feelings and fears. Talk is a two-way street, so make sure to listen as well. If you don’t have a spouse or significant other, find a parent, trusted friend, or pastor to talk with. Don’t EVER let anything get serious enough that you have thoughts of causing harm to yourself or anyone else.
- Diet and Rest – It’s hard to make it through any kind of stress if you are tired or are not eating right. Just this past weekend, I worked three extra shifts that I wasn’t expecting to work. In fact, Sunday was a double shift. The two things that I concentrated on were sleep and food. When I wasn’t working, I was sleeping. Also, I made sure to take a variety of food with to ensure that when I was hungry, I would have something that I wanted to eat.
- Fun – I know this may be strange in this type of list, but as Mary Poppins said, “In ev’ry job that must be done,There is an element of fun, You find the fun and snap! The job’s a game” It is important to try to find the fun every day. While it may be something so simple as looking at pretty flowers while taking a walk or spending some time with your children or spouse, it is important to get the relaxing feeling that doing something fun brings. We’ve been scrimping lately because we want to save for a vacation this fall, but we still find ways to have fun on a budget. The other day, the kids and I went to a local amusement park that doesn’t charge admission. We had ride tickets left from last year that we used, and we only paid for an inexpensive supper and some ice cream. It didn’t cost much, but we had a great time!
If you find yourself and/or your family going through some change, please make sure that it is only your hair that is going up and not your blood pressure. 😉