Written by Samantha Wall, LCSW
Edited by Joe DeNoon
Transitions are so tiring, no matter if it is a transition to a new job, changes of seasons, moving, or experiencing loss, each transition changes our lives to the point where it can be taxing mentally and physically. Anxiety can increase, making decisions can be harder, daily tasks can take more energy, and routines can change. All these moving parts can lead to struggles coping with stressors that we normally can cope with at other times.
The first aspect to keep in mind during transitions is if we rush to get through them, it creates more chaos! Slowing down, taking the transition step by step can benefit not only our level of stress, but help us manage the moving parts. When we look at one month of tasks you have to do, that is super overwhelming, but when we look at the work that needs to be done day by day, it feels more doable. When we are able to slow down during a transition time, it helps take the pressure off, as well as helps us to know your next move! This can also help us ground ourselves during times of stress. When we look sequentially from one task to the next, we can decrease our anxiety about the end goal or outcome of the transition.
It is also essential to allow breaks during transitions. During times of transition, it can feel like a break is not something we can allow ourselves to take. Transitions can be periods in our lives where it feels like there is a bigger deadline or shorter timeline to complete tasks, and the pressure can increase to get the things on our to-do list done! However, allowing for breaks and time to take a breath can not only give us time to rest, but also clear our minds to focus and prioritize when needed. If we are overwhelmed or just tired, our executive functioning skills are not working as well as they would if we were more well-rested. Taking a breather or a break can help us get stuff done faster!
Complimenting the little wins is also helpful to keep us going when we are so tired from the change. It is so easy to fall into negative self-talk during transitions, especially when we feel like everyone around us can transition ‘so well’. Positive self-talk can help us focus on the progress we are making, increase our motivation, and make us feel good about what we have accomplished. This follows the same sentiment of gratitude, when we are able to acknowledge the positive and our wins, it releases those nice chemicals in our brain and helps our mood, therefore making us less tired!
With this ending the month of transition blogs, please remember: be kind to yourself and others during times of transition. There are so many ways you can help yourself AND give yourself time and space to adjust!