Changes, Turn and Face the Strange

Change. It can be exciting, invigorating, thought-provoking. But it can also be terrifying, unwanted and create sweaty palms *ick*. It’s inevitable that we experience change throughout life. We often can’t control change. What we can control is our reaction to change.

In the past five months, there have been some big developments. A new leadership role at Mindful Employer – wrapping up the two-year In-House case-study – developing a new program (insert shameless plug for Mindful Leader here) – and last but not least, turning 30.

Exciting stuff, right? But nonetheless, change. Even when change is positive, we can face growing pains, learning curves, setbacks, and fear of the unknown.

For five months, one change would come after another and I knew they were all positive and opportunities for growth and development, but I would still find myself experiencing moments of panic and fear.

The little voices in my head would have a delightful time reminding me of all the ways I could crash and burn. Researcher and author, Brené Brown, refers to this as “Foreboding Joy”. When we’re celebrating the moment, embracing the positive energy, and then immediately a dark thought comes over us and reminds us of the things that can go wrong.

How do we prepare ourselves for change? Good or bad.

Understanding. Exploration. Self-awareness. Connection. Resources.

I was able to find all of this in the Plan for Resilience developed by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. To begin, the tool is FREE. Free. Free. Free.

Some highlights of Plan for Resilience were:

  • Thinking about the things in life that I find worrisome or are causing me stress from five different categories – health, relationships, financial, work, and emotional. (There might be many, or there may be few. There’s no right or wrong answer here).
  • Reflecting on what my physical, emotional, and behavioural responses to stress are and the impact these could have. (Who doesn’t appreciate knowing the warning signs?).
  • Making a list of the people who could support me or help me accomplish certain tasks. These range from “Help me with housework”, “Make me laugh”, or “Motivate me to take action”. (You might not have a name for every box, that’s okay! Now you can begin your search for that person).
  • Select strategies I can begin to introduce into my weekly routines to help manage life stressors. (Who wouldn’t like to make more time for reading and meditating?).
  • Pick a current stressor and write down how I might make the stressor worse and how I might reduce my stress. (The hardest part was not getting stressed about picking only one stressor! *deep breath* Baby steps).


My favourite part about Plan for Resilience, feeling excited while I was filling it out. Odd, right? Feeling excitement while completing a tool that’s based on what stresses you out. It made me stop and think about what’s going on in my life right now and what I can do to address it. It also offered me time and space to think about all the amazing people in my life I can turn to if I need support.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed about “life stuff”, take the time to complete the tool. It will take you about an hour. But who knows, maybe you’ll feel excited about it too!


Team Mindful Employer

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