Moving Office Spaces Can Make Us Queasy: How To Cope With Small Changes In Life

Talking recently with Elizabeth Bernstein, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, she described the upheaval when her offices were moved.  She has it right.  A seemingly innocuous transition like moving office space can, in fact, make us queasy.  I studied transitions for over thirty-five years and found that any change, over which you had no control, can have extraordinary consequences.
The findings that Bernstein describes—the emergence of adolescent feelings, the changes in routines (including where to find the bathroom) affected her relationships and assumptions about the way life will be for her. If moving offices can have such an impact, imagine what divorce, death, or a lover going off to war can do to us. That’s why it is so important to learn about transitions and how to cope with them.

Some transition tips from Overwhelmed:  Coping with Life’s Ups and Downs

Tip 1. Realize that whenever transitions change your roles, routines, relationships and assumptions–even if they are transitions you want–you will be challenged.

Tip 2. Transitions do not take place at one point in time–they are a process over time.  It is like going on a trip–you dream about it, plan it, go on the trip, take your pictures, pay the bills, remember it.  It is much more than the 10 days on the trip.

Tip 3. You have resources to cope with the transition process–you can learn new coping strategies.  More on coping strategies in the next blog.

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