Life Transitions Big and Small — How to Support Yourself

small things
Small steps help with life transitions.

Life transitions sound daunting and big. But they are actually happening more often than you think.

And how you respond to them depends, in large part, on how you see them and how you define them for yourself.

Whether they’re big or relatively small, these changes have an impact on your energy.

They also have an impact on other people in your life.

So finding time to recognize life transitions when they are happening is key. This gives you a solid base as you work to support yourself through them.

What are life transitions?

To begin, think about how you define a life transition.

Starting or ending primary relationships, having a child, moving to new surroundings, and changing jobs are life transitions for anyone who undergoes them. Other life events may also affect you profoundly.

And within each of those big shifts are lots of smaller transitions.

What is unique is how you experience each change, and how you find the time for self-care. How do you meet your personal needs while navigating change?

Start here…

Take an example of any event that is a life transition. Set aside 15 minutes once a day to think about it. During your 15 minutes of reflection, write down the changes you will need to make to find the time to successfully navigate these transitions.

Here’s one example to get you started — returning to work after having a baby:

  • One transition is returning to work after being at home for two months after giving birth. 
  • If a partner is involved, there’s the necessity of adjusting to the demands of two different, perhaps conflicting, work schedules. 
  • And don’t forget the major transition the baby must go through, from being at home to being in daycare.

Each change, here, involves many smaller changes. Honoring them all will help smooth the path of your transition.

Life transitions may take a team.

This example illustrates the fact that many transitions require a team approach.  So, whenever you are mapping your response to a change, it’s important to keep the people close to you involved in your process.

  • Ask them what they see as important about the event. Be sure to encourage each person in your circle to state what he or she thinks is important during any life transitions. 
  • Encourage each person to be clear about what he or she needs.
  • Include in your plan each person’s feelings, needs, and the unavoidable changes each will need to make.
  • And if you live alone, it is equally important to include your support system in your planning.

Problem solving together creates a sense of teamwork and coordinates efforts. Each of you can select methods of finding time that ease the transition for everyone concerned. Remember that this is a dynamic process over time. Keep in touch with each other to ensure that original decisions are working and that everyone remains open to adjusting the plan as the transition evolves.

And for more help with change…

Do you ever feel like change is coming at you too fast, or like it just arrives, uninvited, out of the blue?

I’ve recently been working with a client who was blind-sided by the sudden passing of a long-time co-worker. It’s turned her work life upside down and has also shaken her on a deep and personal level because this co-worker was the same age and also a good friend.

It’s brought up all kinds of big questions, on top of grief, and new work demands. The stresses and questions are piling up and she is feeling disoriented and anxious.

We’ve been working together on this for several weeks now. And I’ve shared a resource with her that I want to share it with you as well. It’s titled How to Partner with Change and Aging. And to discover more about it right now, you can click here.

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