5 Strategies to Survive Life's Transitions
Our Lives are full of transitions...
Whether due to the challenging economy, the change of seasons, or the Back-to-School rush, many of us are experiencing a life transition that we're trying now to navigate. Your transition may be routine (like preparing your closet for winter), or it may include a new home, new job, new town, and entirely new chapter in your life.
Regardless of what kind of changes are happening in your life, here are some tips to help you make it through:
1. Find and Embrace your Routines
When large sections of your life are changing, some routines still remain the same. It may be brushing your teeth, getting dressed, and preparing for your day. It may be greeting your kids when they get home from school. Or, it may be the last steps you take to get ready for bed at night. Now is a great time to recognize the strength that comes from such routines, and even when everything else changes to use them as your moments of clarity and peace.
2. Know your Next Actions
Take an hour to reflect on the projects and changes in front of you. The best way to navigate a change process is to 1) have a plan and 2) know what comes first. If creating a full plan seems impossible or daunting, then at least identify your NEXT ACTIONS. What is the very next, specific, physical action you could take? Call someone? Research something? Sort items into groups?If you take the time to make a list of specific next actions, rather than just a list of random "stuff", you will significantly reduce your stress and mental processing cycles.
3. Reward Yourself
Make sure to reward yourself for progress made. Consider what easy milestones you are working toward and identify ways to celebrate reaching them. What's the best reward for you? An hour reading your favorite novel? A walk in your favorite park? Dinner and movie with a good friend? A bubble bath? Determine what might motivate you, and give yourself rewards for good work ... frequently.
4. Get Sleep
Transitions are exhausting experiences... physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The best thing you can possibly do for yourself is to make sleep a priority. Most adults need at minimum 6-7 hours to function, and I would argue that 8-9 hours would be better! Do what you can to keep your energy reserves intact through your transition. Get plenty of sleep!
5. Ask for Help
In times of transition, we need to accept and ask for help. Whether it's a friend to keep you company as you work through a hard project, a family member to whom you can delegate some tasks, or a professional (like a Professional Organizer from Wendy Buglio Consulting) who can guide you through your transition process, seek out support. Trying to be the hero and dragging yourself alone through a challenging time will not make your life or anyone else's better. Find the support you need to get you through.
One of the few certain things about our lives is that they are constantly changing. Learn to navigate the flows of change, and you will come out stronger and more capable each time.