the process of a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly. Symbolising change.

Accepting Change: 5 Strategies for the New Normal

It’s normal to go through lots of different emotions in times of big change – well documented in the Kübler-Ross Change Curve, aka the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle. Over the last few weeks we’ve heard lots of suggestions from people on how to cope with the changes to their work schedule that have been caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.

Kübler-Ross Change Cycle shows the 5 stages of grief that accompany big moments of change.
These are Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, and Acceptance

The Kübler-Ross Change Curve is often used to describe the cycle that people experience when they are going through a period of significant change. 

  • Denial and Anger are generally the first stages where people are struggling with coming to terms with the change. In these stages people need information and communication to help them begin to understand and process the change. 
  • The Bargaining stage is where people try to put off or find a way out of the change. 
  • When the reality sets in it leads to the Depression stage. In this stage people require connection and emotional support from those around them, technology like video conferencing and instant messaging has made this so much easier. 
  • Finally Acceptance is the stage where people begin to understand and get used to the change that has occurred, and begin to move forward in a positive way. 

An important thing to remember is that everyone takes a different amount of time to go through this, and that the process is not quite as simple as the diagram. We can go through this curve multiple times in one day and we can jump forwards and backward along the curve randomly. But just know that we’ll all come out of it in the end.

As we’ve moved through these stages with the Covid-19 lockdown, many of our members have come up with great solutions to make the progress to acceptance easier. And although the Level 4 lockdown ends this week, life won’t go back to normal for some time. These recommendations may help you going forward:

If you’re struggling with remote working with family:

  • Giving the kids more of a say in the family routines so that there is an even balance of work and family time.
  • If you can, minimise disruption by keeping your routine somewhat similar to a usual work/school day.
  • Encourage your children to schedule in time to connect with their friends and family outside their – “bubble” – perhaps a group Zoom call with some friends to play a game or complete schoolwork together.

If you’re struggling with working without colleagues:

  • Talkback radio and music can keep your ears entertained. 
  • Don’t forget about the wide variety of tools you have to communicate with colleagues and clients. If a video call isn’t practical, how about a group chat with your workmates, or a daily text check-in? Communication is key, so keeping in touch regularly is incredibly important.

If you can’t work at the moment, and are struggling to keep busy:

  • Change your focus – if you can’t physically go out to do your job, work on the business. Consider revising your business plan, assessing your marketing, and experimenting with how you can diversify. 
  • This is a great time to do professional development courses or webinars, which may in turn help anyone who has seen a drop in work.

If you’re struggling to remain positive and motivated in lockdown:

  • Connect with your group and ask for help.
  • Focus on what you can control.
  • Remember that while it might be some time before things go “back to normal,” quarantine won’t last forever. 
  • Keep things in perspective – this is a difficult time, but our struggles now are helping to keep our community safe and healthy.
  • Find a lockdown buddy that you can check in with, to build accountability for both of you, and help to keep you on track.
  • Take time away from your computer with regular breaks and a lunchtime walk.

Change can be a good thing!

We know it can be difficult but try to look on the bright side.

We’ve enjoyed not having to commute on such a regular basis and being able to see everyone in a more casual setting. We do miss seeing everyone in person though (and drinking good coffee)! 

So there you have it! People have had very different experiences working from home. You’re not alone if you have enjoyed it, or if you haven’t. If you have enjoyed it, you could always talk to your boss about continuing once everything goes back to normal, even if it was only part time. 

But remember; whether you’re loving lockdown or can’t wait to get back to the office, stay connected and continue to support each other.

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