I went through a period in my life a little over a year ago where I was really struggling with some transitions and changes. Some I knew were coming but they were still hard to deal with. Others were unexpected and, therefore, even harder to deal with.
These big changes include our youngest daughter graduating from high school. My own graduation from college (finally) with my Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities/American Studies. And finally, dealing with the transition surroundinga key employee of our family business moving back to his home state after 17 years with the company.
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Everyone goes through major events and changes at one time or another and regardless if they’re planned or unplanned, happy and exciting or sorrowful; times of change are often stressful. I’ve found the transition to be easier when I follow a few tips that I’ve picked up over the years. I hope they’re helpful for you too.
3 Tips to Make Transition and Change Easier
- Don’t bury your feelings: A wide range of emotions usually come with change. They can run the gamut from the most positive to the most negative. Allow yourself to feel all of your emotions. When you actually feel your feelings, they pass through and don’t bind up inside you and manifest into more toxic emotions such as bitterness and anger. To do this, you have to be willing to sit with the discomfort of your emotions. Drowning emotions with alcohol, food, endless activity, or worse– only disconnects us from feelings until a later time when they’ll try to resurface again. The past few weeks I’ve been more than a little teary eyed thinking about no more driving kids to school, no more dance recitals, gymnastics meets, or soccer games. I’m sad that I won’t be seeing so many of my classmates anymore or enjoying all the spirited discussions that can only be found in intimate classroom settings. I’m heavy-hearted that I won’t be working day in and day out with a man that I’ve come to love like a brother. I am, however, an eternal optimist and am looking forward to new challenges!
- Attend to business: Although emotions may be running high and need attention, practical matters need attention too. Don’t use current emotions, whether they’re pain, fear, excitement, or joy as an excuse to be lax with the important “business” tasks your particular situation requires. Procrastination is always the enemy! In my case, there are still assignments to finish, paperwork to attend to, a new employee to hire, parties to plan, and ceremonies to attend.
- Take care of yourself: During times of transition, it’s easy to neglect yourself and your personal needs. After all, you’re extending a lot of energy into processing your emotions and are dealing with extra practical tasks. You may not be eating well, you may be neglecting your exercise routine, or maybe you’re not participating in any of your personal fun or family activities. It’s never a good idea to neglect your physical and mental health. Take care of yourself as much as possible.
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We all know change is going to happen and that we can’t stop it. All change requires some adjustment, even good change. Our real problems happen when we resist change instead of flowing with it. So don’t resist change, accept it.
What transitions and changes have you been through lately? What helped you cope?
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