Transition, here’s the actual definition: The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
Its definition indicates we are disrupting a norm we’ve come to know and are in the midst of creating a new one. There are some folks (like myself) who enjoy change, but being in transition is very different than mixing things up every now and then. I don’t know anyone who loves to be in the state of the unknown for an extended period of time.
It’s easy to feel consumed and think we’re moving backward in life, which is normally the opposite of reality. When you focus on a few fundamental areas, you’re able to successfully navigate through transition instead of feeling like it’s swallowing you whole.
Here are 10 ways you can thrive while navigating transition in life:
1. Make connection a priority
It’s easy to allow the ever growing to do list which often comes during a transition to demand your attention. When that becomes the priority over the connection, you slowly begin to isolate yourself.
Isolation quickly amplifies any stress, pain, or frustrations you may be having. When you make connection a priority both with God and others, it helps you understand the truth… you’re not alone.
2. Give yourself grace
I’ve had clients say things like “Giving yourself grace sounds nice but how the hell do I actually do that?!?!”. It’s a fair question and one I’ve asked myself more than once. Here are some practical ways I’ve used to describe what it looks like.
- Give yourself permission to not have it all together. We all have imperfections regardless of what social media may display.
- Be willing to make mistakes without it causing you to question your identity. This point could be a post in itself because it applies to every area of life, not just transition.
- Look for the things you’re doing well. Sometimes this can feel like there’s nothing, but I promise you’re doing something right. Take time to pause, identify them, and celebrate them.
Giving yourself grace is different than giving yourself permission to avoid responsibility.
3. Identify your needs
Like maintaining connection, your needs can slowly decrease on your priority list. This is probably one of the hardest things for me. As a former Marine my mentality can go to “I have to get X done, my needs can wait.” That only works for so long. The problem is we all have basic needs which remain present whether we take time to acknowledge them or not. I’m referring to things like the need to be seen, to know you’re enough, or the need for connection just to name a few.
Neglecting them is like refusing to let a child eat. The longer you go without meeting the need will cause him/her to start acting more erratic. Meeting the need helps bring stability and prevents the child from acting out. It’s not that the child was a bad kid, it’s that he was hungry.
Meeting your needs will keep you from acting like a starved child looking for food. You become more stable and grounded in your approach to things in life. This is especially important during transition because you need clarity to know where to put your attention.
4. Understand it’s not forever
I’ve had clients in transition who break down in tears when I tell them “this is not your new norm.” It’s easy to begin to believe how you feel today is likely how you’ll feel in the future. That belief leads to feeling trapped and ultimately becoming a victim to your circumstances. Transition by its definition means where you are is not where you’ll stay.
This point can be easier said than done, but you find hope when you’re able to take a deep breath and remind yourself it’s not going to always be like this.
5. See the big picture
This coincides with understanding it’s not forever but deserves it’s own point because it’s not only applicable for times of transition. A common phrase is “don’t lose the forest for the trees.” It basically means don’t get so caught up in the details that you lose your ability to see what’s really going on. This can quickly happen when you’re in transition because it feels like you’re in a state of continually juggling so many things.
Take a moment and write out everything you have going on. Not for the sake of adding to your to do’s or feeling overwhelmed, but rather to help you connect to empathy and compassion for yourself. You’re likely dealing with a lot… then re-read my point on giving yourself grace. 😉
If that doesn’t help, you may want to meet with a Life Consultant or Life Coach. Their job is to see beyond your current circumstances and help you navigate the storm.
6. Find a hobby / have fun
I had a friend I recommended doing something with his hands as a hobby. At the time he didn’t see the value of it, but now he’s become addicted to finding projects. Why? A few reasons are a hobby can be connected to a positive trigger or it allows you to “unplug” or “recharge.”
This is important at any time, but especially during transition. We often shut down fun and go into survival mode during a time of transition.
When you unplug it gives your mind a chance to stop swirling through everything going on. It doesn’t mean things just fix themselves, but it does give you an opportunity to mentally come up for air.
7. Know your bad habits
It’s no secret, we all have them. The difficulty is they become more comfortable when you’re feeling stressed. Knowing your lousy habit helps you become proactive instead of reactive. It enables you to catch yourself before you’ve allowed the pattern to become detrimental.
For me, late night snacking has been my nemesis. I know I’m under stress when I catch myself wanting (or eating) late night snacks. It’s a red flag for me to pause, ask myself what I actually need and create a plan.
8. Be physically active
Transition throws off your normal routine in several areas. This includes any kind of a workout norm you may have. I’m not saying you need to have a full workout regiment. You can do something as simple as:
- Go for a 20-minute walk
- Play any kind of sport with some friends
- Garden – If you’ve ever managed a garden you know what I’m talking about. 🙂
- Go for a bike ride
- Do Yoga
The list goes on and on… The goal is to use physical activity to relieve stress. It is NOT the time to try and lose weight.
9. Make sleep a priority
How do you make sleep a priority? I’d recommend you start with educating yourself on the importance of it. You’d be amazed how sleep, or lack thereof affects every area of our life. Not getting enough sleep is the catalyst to a downward spiral, especially during a time of transition.
10. Take supplements
Everyone is different, which means you need to find what works for you. With that said, here’s what I’m currently taking on a daily basis that helps me navigate the transition I’m presently in.
- CBD oil – CBD is a Cannabidiol and is one of 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp plants. I personally have used it to help with anxiety, sleep, and pain. If you haven’t heard of this before you’re not alone. This industry has exploded the last few years because of the benefits people are finding. Just search “CBD x your ailment” if you’re curious.
This has changed my life to the point my wife and I are actually opening a store in Austin. Joy Organics is a family run business (Joy is my mother-in-law). If you’re interested in trying CBD out for yourself use the coupon code “JOSH” and get 10% off.
- Ginseng Tea – Ginseng is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbal remedies that make you more resilient to mental, physical, and environmental stress. They generally work by reducing the stress hormone cortisol while strengthening the adrenal glands.
- Rhodiola – Rhodiola is a flowering herb that has been used in traditional medicine for many years. One of the best-known claims about Rhodiola rosea is its power as a substance that helps the body adapt to stress.
Like most things that are worth the investment… it’s not always easy to thrive while in transition, but it is possible. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve struggled with the list of things I just mentioned, but when I’ve been able to lock into them, it’s made a massive difference in how I’m able to be proactive instead of reactionary.