Transition and change are a part of life and the human experience, come in many forms and can be sudden or gradually evolving, stressful, pleasurable, or a mixture of both! We change our relationships, jobs, where we live, sometimes our values and beliefs, our goals in life; as well as changes in health. With transition and change comes some type of adjustment, roles and responsibilities can change with changing life circumstances. The more organic transitions in life are obvious, the cycle from birth to death. In fact all of life is made up of ‘little deaths’. As we transition through life we let go of childhood for adolescence, through to our old age.
There are many positive aspects to change, these include:
new experiences and opportunities
stimulation for new ideas and ways of thinking
new strengths such as more self confidence
change helps you to prioritise and problem solve
There can be many different emotions and feelings associated with change and transition depending on life experience, situation and circumstances. Some of these might be: fear of the unknown, stress and/or anxiety, depression or anger. Often we find it hard to associate these feelings with the change such is the impact on us but many people experience typical symptoms associated with these feelings or emotions such as:
tiredness or lack of sleep
lack of concentration
The feeling of being overwhelmed is something very common to change as we transition through from one phase in our life to another. It is also a dangerous phase if not handled correctly as new experiences take over. Especially when the change is sudden or forced upon us, the world can seem a very different place as everything we knew and took for granted appears to be diminishing before our eyes. There are a few simple steps that can help to reduce the impact of transition. What has worked for us is to find solace in the power of our little family and our attitude that we can do this together for an eventual better life but the items listed below could help:
stay flexible. Keeping to a rigid routine during change will likely bring disappointment.
care for your physical and emotional health
maintain your life flow by keeping some kind of ‘routine’
stay in touch with friends and social networks
use stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises
start a wish list of new plans and goals to fit your new circumstances
embrace the new changes
take it one step at a time. This is very important. Smaller goals can seem less overwhelming.
keep your sense of humour
talk to helpful people, such as a counsellor or someone you can trust
We cannot avoid change, it is a necessary part of our lives and helps build resilience physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Even though change at times can be painful and difficult we can usually find something positive from the experience if we look for it.