Emotions may run high during a time of social change. People may have strong feelings on both sides about changes to laws and how it impacts them personally. You may be:
- Talking more about current events
- Checking news sites for updates more frequently
- Feeling anxious about what these changes may mean on a personal level
Times of social change are often stressful. You may find that you are:
- Avoiding people who have opposing viewpoints or feeling tense around them
- Having arguments with friends or family members
- Feeling anxious or having physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach aches, or difficulty sleeping
If you are struggling to manage your reactions, it’s important to:
- Limit your media exposure. Read or watch what is necessary to stay informed. Then, step away.
- Understand that change rarely happens overnight. If you are volunteering or protesting, set limits to maintain your health and wellbeing. Limit your donations to causes you care about to what you can realistically afford.
- Practice self-care. Eat right, exercise, and engage in activities that help you relax, such as meditation or spending time in nature.
In addition, social changes may become a topic of conversation at work or have a direct impact on your workplace. Regardless of your views, it’s important to behave appropriately toward others. These guidelines may be helpful:
- Be respectful. Realize that others may be experiencing strong emotions. Be sensitive to their feelings and stick to neutral topics of conversation.
- Maintain appropriate workplace conduct. Use appropriate workplace behavior and language. If you are struggling to rein in your emotions, change the subject or politely withdraw from the conversation.
- Focus on work. Remember that you and your colleagues need to work together as a team, regardless of personal views.
- Remain neutral with customers. Keep your personal opinions out of any exchanges and stay focused on the task at hand.
- Follow policy. If a change to a law impacts how you do your job, look to your manager for guidance.