Life transitions are usually life changing events that cause us to re-examine the present sense of who we are. It can be positive or negative, planned or unexpected and some transitions happen without warning, and they may be quite dramatic as in cases of accidents, death, divorce, job loss, or serious illness.
Other life transitions come from positive experiences such as getting married, going away to college, starting a new job, moving to a new city or giving birth to a child. Even though events like these are usually planned and anticipated, they can be just as life-altering as the unexpected events. Whether positive or negative, life transitions cause you to leave behind the familiar and force you to adjust to new ways of living, at least, temporarily.
Life Transitions can be challenging for the following reasons:
A life transition represents a change, so even if it’s called a good change, the process of getting adjusted to a new routine can be effort full. Consider the example of moving to a new town or city, which may be an exciting change that you are looking forward to, but as you make this transition, you will need to learn things like a new route to get to work, what super market has the best prices to shop from or where you can go for relaxation. The process of learning new routines involves more energy and efforts than we typically devote to everyday tasks.
In response to a life transition, people experience different types of stress and sometimes people experience eustress, a form of stress that helps you feel motivated to take on challenges and make forward progress. However, stress that continues for an extended period of time can negatively impact you emotionally, physically, and mentally. This makes a transition even more difficult to navigate.
Transitions that happen unexpectedly and have a direct impact on our daily lives can be very challenging to cope with. For example, accidents, job loss and pandemics can happen without much warning. Ultimately, when we are caught off guard by a life transition, it is challenging to navigate, because we haven’t had the chance to prepare.
Tips on How to Deal With Transitions:
Try to prepare for your transition, which may involve outlining a plan for the logistics of your transition, because getting things in order before a planned major transition is one of the best ways to guarantee that all will work out when the time comes to make your move. For example, before your job retirement, planning ahead preferably for at least 2 years will allow you to get through that significant life change without being devastated by the loss of your work role. Similarly, getting your literal “house in order” before a move will ease the physical and psychological strain of relocation.
When your life is disrupted, do not be in a rush, because it takes time to adjust to the new reality and expect to feel uncomfortable during a transition as you let go of old ways of doing things. Try to avoid starting new activities too soon, before you have had a chance to reflect and think about what is really best for you.
Focus On Payoff And Motivate Yourself:
Think about what you have learned from other life transitions. Recall the stages you went through, identify what you gained and learned from each experience and motivate yourself. Such transitions can provide a productive time to do some important self-exploration. They can be a chance to overcome fears and to learn to deal with uncertainty.
Accept that change is inherent and a normal part of life, and without it life courses would be very dull indeed. People who realize that change is inherent to life seem to have the easiest time getting through life transitions. And seeing change as negative or as experiences that must be avoided makes them more difficult to navigate, and less personally productive, so when change happens, don’t fight it.Featured Image Source: Pamela Thompson
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