Successfully Navigate Life Transitions – Written by Joyce Marter, LCPC
by Joyce Marter, LCPC
Life is everchanging. Times of transition can exacerbate stress, even if they are positive transitions, like starting a new job, falling in love, or having a child.
Life transitions can include changes in:
- Employment (new job, promotion, job loss, career change)
- School (starting, ending)
- Relationship status (starting a new relationship, going through a breakup, getting married)
- Family status (transitioning to family with 1st child, adding more, adoption, fostering)
- Home environment (moving to a new home, rehabbing, somebody moving in or out)
- Finances (due to divorce, a large expense, job loss, changes in the economy, inheritance)
Tips to Cope with Transition
Anticipate the stress of transition whenever possible and lay the groundwork to make things run as smoothly as possible. This can be done for transitions that occur every year, like the start of school, holidays, tax time, and end of school.
Expect bumps and be flexible. Think of how architects build skyscrapers so they can sway in the wind. Do activities that ground you (meditation, deep breathing, exercise) and then go with the flow. Let some things go.
Boost up self care for yourself. Don’t forget quiet time, down time and play time. Make sure you are getting enough rest and eating right. Create time for activities that reboot you.
Cut yourself some slack. You are a human being and nobody is perfect. Don’t compare yourself to others who you think have it all together. â€œDon’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.â€ Transition is stressful for all of us and we all have different lives to manage.
Get things off your plate. Let go of things that aren’t mandatory. It is okay to decline invitations to create time for self care. It is okay to say no to additional responsibilities. You have enough on your plate.
Get support from others. You are not alone. Your feelings (whatever they are) are normal. Get support from others dealing with similar situations.
Understand stress sometimes pops out in different places. You may be going through a job transition, but find yourself mad at your partner. Keep in mind you are going through a lot and may be taking it out elsewhere.
Remember â€œthis too shall pass.â€ You will get through it. Change is good.
For more help with supporting yourself, your partnership or your children through counseling during times of transition, please visit www.urbanbalance.org.