Six Strategies for Coping with Change

By Dana Scoville

Change is an inevitable part of life, but knowing that doesn’t mean dealing with change is easy. Finding ways to accept and cope can make these transitions smoother and less stressful. Here are some evidence-based strategies for coping with change that can be helpful during such times:

1. Self-care. When we take care of our basic needs we are better able to function. Eat and sleep well. Move around. Connect with others. Have fun. Ask for help. Practical Self-Talk: “What do I need right now?”

2. Reassess What Matters. Checking in with ourselves allows us to question how our beliefs and goals may have changed. Practical Self-Talk: “Is ____ even still important to me?”

3. Purposeful Action. By focusing on what we CAN do we move from being “stuck in our heads” into action. Practical Self-Talk: “Are these thoughts helpful?” and then “How can I make them helpful?”

4. Mindfulness. When we learn to be in the here and now, we can be fully present when it matters most. Put your phone down. Do one thing at a time. Listen. Practical Self-Talk: “What is happening in this present moment?”

5. Meditation. A regular meditation practice helps us stay focused on what matters. It can be a guided meditation or one that simply focuses on your breath. Practical Self-Talk: Closes eyes and breathes.

6. Acceptance. Anxiety can be significantly reduced when we accept what we cannot change by giving up the fight and trusting our ability to adjust. Practical Self-Talk: “I cannot change this, but I can adapt.”

If you find that you need additional support, UF Scripps Biomedical Research, Counseling and Psychological Services department offers free, confidential counseling to all benefits-eligible employees and their families. Know that we are here on campus to help you with any concerns you may have.

Dana Scoville, Ph.D., LMHC is a licensed counselor in the UF Scripps Biomedical Research Counseling and Psychological Services department.

To schedule an appointment with a CAPS counselor, dial x-2288, or email Dana Scoville at or Claudia Herrera at

Additional Resources

Your UF Employee Assistance Program offers someone to talk to and resources to consult whenever and wherever you need them. All UF faculty, staff, non-student OPS employees, and postdoc associates as well as their household members are eligible to receive services.

Your toll-free number gives you direct, 24/7 access to a licensed counselor, who will answer your questions and, if needed, refer you to a counselor or other resources.

Call: 833.306.0103 TTY: 800.697.0353

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