Major life transitions can be overwhelming. While life requires you to be able to shift from one situation, relationship, or career to another, these shifts, or transitions, can be quite disconcerting and even challenging at times.
Being aware in advance of transitions coming your way will enable you to be better prepared. Applying helpful strategies will help you manage the shifts more effectively.
Common Life Transitions:
Becoming familiar with common adult life transitions will help you be proactive when it comes to managing your own transitions. Consider these situations that are filled with changes:
• Moving your place of residence. Leaving a home you’ve lived in for years can trigger many feelings of sadness, loss, and even grief.
• Getting married. Deciding to permanently share your life and home with another person is quite a shift in your lifestyle, causing a lot of change and perhaps turmoil at first, even though you’re happy with your decision to wed.
• Having your first baby. Becoming responsible for another life is one of the most awesome, life-changing events you’ll ever experience.
• Experiencing a divorce. The termination of a relationship that you thought would last all your life leads to an obvious period of change and turbulence.
• Getting a new job. Leaving co-workers, supervisors, and surroundings you’ve grown accustomed to can bring great changes to your life.
• Switching careers. Changing from one type of work to another is a monumental life-changing event for most people.
• The death of a parent. Losing one of the people you’ve been closest to all your life will trigger many feelings. You might even look at your own existence quite differently once a parent passes.
• Coping with your best friend moving away. If you’ve been close to a person for many years and weathered other transitions with their help, it can be quite challenging to face the fact that they won’t be close by anymore.
How to Manage Your Life Transitions:
As you can see, some of these transitions occur spontaneously and without much warning. Others are, for the most part, orchestrated by you.
Here are some ideas that might help you successfully manage your own life transitions:
1. Plan ahead. When you’re thinking about doing something that will trigger a transition in your life, try to plan it at a time when you expect other areas of your life to be relatively calm. You have the ability to schedule some of your life transitions.
2. Space your transitions, if possible. For example, if you’ve just taken a new job in town, it may not be the time to move house. Give yourself a year or so to adjust to the new position before you start looking for a new house. It’s wise to allow some time to get used to one new situation before beginning another. The transition process takes time for adjustment.
3. Continue with regular routines. Throughout the time of transition, stick with as many of your routines as possible. Routines can bring structure and a certain comfort to your life whenever there’s turbulence from a transition.
4. Give yourself some ‘down time’. Because transitions often trigger feelings of stress, it’s important to allow yourself plenty of breaks for rest and relaxation. Taking part in your favourite hobbies or just hanging out around the house can give you time to recharge and help you deal with the current transition.
5. Reach out to others for support. Recognize that everyone, without exception, lives through transitions. Therefore, you can turn to others to hear their stories of how they got through such changes.
Major life transitions can be successfully managed if you apply the information above.
Knowing about common life transitions, planning ahead, spacing transitions, and continuing your routines are effective ways to cope. Also, taking rest breaks and asking others for support will provide you with what you need to face and deal successfully with whatever transitions life brings.