Navigating the Emotions and Choices of Change: 3 Positive Strategies


There’s no right or wrong way to deal with change; the important thing is to deal with it, says Army wife and author Judy Davis. She says when dealing with life changes it’s essential to acknowledge the emotions and recognize the choices that come those changes.

“As military spouses, we’re used to taking one for the team, when it comes to change,” says Judy. “We put our own needs aside and often pay a price. We have to own our feelings and find ways to navigate through change rather than resist it.”

In her book, Right Side Up: Find Your Way When Military Life Turns You Upside Down, Judy recommends a three-step method of dealing with change: accept, regroup, and approach.

She offers three practical tips for putting these steps into action:

  1. Acceptance begins with expressing your concerns about change. Have a conversation with your spouse about the coming change, reinforcing your team approach to the change.
  2. Regroup and determine what works best for you and your family in any situation. For example, when taking advice from friends who have experienced similar changes, realize your experience will be different. Evaluate your own situation and decide what guidance will be helpful.

“While it is important to ask for advice when you need it, it is just as important to listen and implement that advice with a ‘what’s best for me’ filter,” writes Judy in Right Side Up.

  1. Approach change knowing there are options. Options include how to manage the change, as well as how to handle the emotions it will bring. Look for the positive ways you’ve reacted to change in the past. Share your experiences with friends and listen to theirs.

“We can all benefit from the experiences of others whether they have managed change successfully or not,” Judy says. “Sometimes we have no control over the changes in our lives, but it’s important to remember we are in control of our responses to change.”

Photo credit: Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito




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