Updated: Oct 8
Essentially life transitions are significant changes occurring throughout life.
Some of these changes are predictable or the results of choices one makes, such as:
Changing jobs or schools
Moving to another city or country
Having or adopting a baby
Grown-up children leaving the family home
Other life changes are out of your control and do not leave any other choice than to accept the new situation, begin to deal with it, and rebuild a life on what is remaining from the life you once knew.
No matter how the transition began, when we find ourselves struggling with it, we may question whether we will survive all this and how.
The mind innately resists change, therefore, getting out of comfort zones and leaving behind what is felt as familiar is not something that is accepted without any struggle.
You may not be fully aware of the resistance and thus feel challenged without being able to identify the issue. Even when the new experience is something you are looking forward to, leaving behind what you perceive as familiar can be daunting and cause uncomfortable feelings.
Leaving the old self behind to re-build a new self is an emotionally intense venture. Any transition experience will change you in unpredictable ways.
When the transition is something that has been imposed, and you had no other choice than accepting it, the situation may be even more challenging.
The emotional response, in this case, is often more intense. The sense of loss, fear, despair, added to feelings of panic, anxiety, frustration or depression may become overwhelming. You can find some comfort by allowing yourself the same love and compassion you would show to others.
Accept the challenging emotions you are experiencing as part of a difficult journey. Slow down, take all the time you need. Accept that it will take time to feel better. Trust yourself, all you need is enough time to heal your emotional wounds.
When you find yourself in the middle of a transition, all you want is to skip the uncomfortable feelings and for everything to be over. Unfortunately, that is not possible, but still, you can make things a little easier by ensuring yourself a space you can nestle in and feel safe. You can do this by practising self-care and by remaining in touch with the people you love as they will be a vital support to help you overcome this challenging time.
You are not going crazy and you are not losing yourself. You are just changing. You need some time to accept and embrace this transition and rebuild your emotional resilience through self-care.
It is ok to feel sad, and it is also ok to feel scared and lonely.
Remind, take small steps, create little habits that help you feel better. Resume something that has brought you comfort in the past or consider starting something new that you've always wanted to try but never have. Explore every opportunity.
These will be the first steps toward the "new you."
Once you begin to feel a little better, find a project to work on. Something meaningful for you, whether it be a new art or craft activity, a new fitness program, new studies or perhaps a volunteer job. Whatever helps you to find motivation and have some distraction from the constant pain. This way, you will also build new connections and a stronger support system for yourself.
Being open to the idea of seeking help is also a coping method. Whether it be a close friend, a relative, or a counsellor trained to assist you in these difficult times, talking through your feelings is a source of comfort.
Therefore it is important to remember to reach out when you need some help. You do not have to suffer in silence and face all this alone. Often our friends and family don't know how to help, ask for what you need, and if that's not enough, talk to your GP. Look for support groups, consider having some counselling sessions, use all the means you have at your disposal, and don't forget to show always patience and kindness to yourself.
Are you still feeling overwhelmed by your thoughts or feelings?
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