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What Happens When Plans Suddenly Change? Tips on Dealing With the Unexpected

I was due to go to a women in photography conference next week. I was so excited. I was a little bit apprehensive, too. You see, for me, when I have a 'big' trip or event coming up, I like to over-organise. I need to have everything planned in my head. I need to know exactly when I need to be at the train station, or the airport, so I know exactly when I need to leave my house to get there - and then I'll add an extra hour just in case!

So, for the last week or so, I'd been going over in my head the journey of travelling in to London, getting the train to Manchester, enjoying my coffee, reading my book, which bus I needed to get at the other end etc. etc.... Until I arrived home last night to a message saying the event had been postponed due to worries over coronavirus.

I completely understood, but at the same time was totally disappointed not to be going on my trip I'd been so looking forward to and planning for, for weeks!

Sudden changes to plans can really throw an introvert or those who suffer with anxiety, so I wanted to compile some tips on what to do when plans suddenly change and you have to think outside the box.

Tip 1: Think of others; You're not alone.

Chances are, this change isn't just affecting you. Think of other people whom it affects, too. Cancelled events can mean cancelled flights, money lost, not being able to see family or friends... Realising other people are in the same situation can help you remember you're not alone and you may be able to band together to help each other out!

Tip 2: Ask for help.

You may need to rearrange some things after your plans change. Maybe you need to reschedule a booking or ask for a refund. If you're not sure where to go or what to do, ask someone who knows for help. Explain the situation and they'll be happy to guide you to the right place.

This could also just mean asking a friend or partner to have a look at new train times for you. Remember, you don't have to take it all on yourself.

Tip 3: Uncertainty and Opportunity.

Changes can mean uncertainty but they can also signify opportunity. Think about what positive side effects changes to your plans may mean. Maybe you have extra time to explore a city, extra time in bed or more time to look forward to or save up spending money for next time.

Tip 4: Relax.

Sometimes easier said than done, but most changes you'll experience, at least with events/flights etc. being postponed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 outbreak, will pass in time and will only affect life for a few weeks or months.

If you no longer have events to attend, perhaps take the time to treat yourself instead. Light some scented candles and have a relaxing bath or try some meditation. Filling your now-free time up with some self-care could be just what you need!

I hope my non-extensive list can help in some way to get your thoughts in order if you've been affected by the recent coronavirus restrictions. For now, I'll carry on booking photoshoots and planning workshops, whilst I look forward to my re-scheduled event!

Remember, for information on the virus and what you should be doing, go to news sources you trust and try to stay away from fake news.

For information about the coronavirus itself, visit the NHS Advice & Information page.

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