Change is Stressful: 3 Steps to Doable

By Nancy Virden (c)2020

I went today to an urgi-care where the nurses were waiting outside for me to sign a form. That was my only reason to be there and am grateful for their safety approach. 

I do not like wearing a mask, and doing so is a change as it is for everyone. My county has made it law to the degree if you see someone without a mask in a public place, you are to report them! 

Change is stressful and hard. Even if it is for the better, change is hard. Young people who tend toward more impulsivity do not enjoy change out of their control. Especially perhaps here in America adults of any age are not used to being told what to do. Change is hard. 

Change is doable!

We can do it! We are able to adapt to change. Here are three steps to coping well and making life easier in these times. 

1. Expectations

Most of our disappointments come from unmet expectations. People can fail us by not taking responsibility for their obligations to us. We can also carry expectations that are too high or unfair. In a way, we victimize ourselves by expecting what cannot be.

We will feel the pain of change more acutely if our energy is spent waiting for rescue or relief. For instance, in this pandemic, we have heard scientists disagree, oscillate, and admit they do not know. Expecting a cure from science may be reasonable enough, however expecting it soon is not.     

What can we do about our time in-between? Lower expectations for everyone including ourselves. We are doing the best we can. Be kind to cashiers, encourage pastors, school principals, and bosses instead of giving advice. Take a break. Learn something new. Choose video chats, phone calls, and social gatherings online over loneliness. Meet neighbors by checking in on them. Speak with hope as that will encourage all of us.  

2. Manageable emotional and physical tasks

Too many tasks or challenges outrun us at times. Feeling overwhelmed or burned out may result. Respect for our limits is a reasonable response, and not always simple.

My son has started a new job that is physically more demanding than he expected. The same week of his first day his car died and he had to search for a new one. That same week, he moved into a new home with a new roommate. This is the son who has hated change since infancy. It stresses him out and he is feeling it.

Physical demands can wear us down until emotional tolls become too much. One issue concerns me most and that is my son is not slowing down.

Manageability involves cutting things down to smaller, more manageable chunks. This  may also feel difficult; slowing down is yet another change.

It is important though. “To all perfection there is a limit,” says Psalm 119:96. We humans are not built for a pass/fail lifestyle.

3. Lean on the Highest Power

Jesus rescues us from sin, Satan, death, and hell (Ephesians 1). One day he will return to restore the world into a world of love (Revelation 21). Always The Fight is a ministry for the desperate and those who also struggle. I try not to offer easy answers. This work is about giving living water to those whose wells have gone dry.  (Jeremiah 2:13)

Is your well full? Is it overflowing with hope, trust, love, joy, and peace? Most people would answer no. However, I am one who can say yes, and am aware of numerous others.  Out of nine of us who meet regularly, four are single due to divorce or death. Four are in recovery. One has skin cancer. One has no car. Two represent suicide survivors and attempts. One has lost family due to murder. One’s child went to jail.  Yes, we struggle, we hurt. Strong emotions roll around and give us pause. None of us like change. And yet our wells are not dry. 

It is because we drink of the living water each day. Jesus said to a woman with five failed marriages, “I am He who gives you living water.” That is who we turn to in prayer, read about in the Bible, and take in as our Savior and Lord. 

Today’s Helpful Word

John 4: 42

They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”


Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016
Photo Joe Boyle Photography

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.


NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright (c) 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.., Carlo Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved




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