I hope your week is going well so far! As we begin to see “back to school ” signage everywhere we look it got me thinking about the Fall period of transition that my family, and so many families are about to embark upon! We, as a family, will soon be making the shift from soccer balls, baseball cleats and afternoons in the pool to early mornings, homework and more structured days. As we go through this small, yet impactful transition, it is important to be mindful that transitions, regardless of how big or small, can affect our emotions, our stress levels, and our ability to stay focused and concentrate!
I remember when we moved our family from Minneapolis to Green Bay. In our heart of hearts, we knew this was the best decision for our family and us; however, as the actual move drew closer, I felt this great sense of sadness about leaving my wonderful friends, my colleagues and a city I loved. I remember sitting with my supervisor during one of our final meetings, and I lost it! I think I continuously cried for over an hour! The emotions that were coming up for me were sadness, confusion, and guilt! I was sad because I was leaving, I was confused because I was sad and I felt guilt because I thought I should be feeling grateful I was moving back to the city I had longed to move back to for a long time! I think my supervisor should have gotten a raise that day!
Once we made the actual move back to Green Bay, I was happy to be back, but there was a period of loneliness. It took time to get into a routine and feel reconnected with my family and friends. As I look back on that time of my life, I realize how difficult that transition was and how much joy I have gained in my life because of that transition.
So, I want this to say about transitions. JTransitions can be anything from moving, ending a relationship, starting a new job, retirement or even something as “simple” as adjusting from the school schedule to the summer schedule. Transitions, regardless of how big or small, affect how we feel.
To learn more about the stages of transition and get three steps to help you through transition and change, check out this video!
The 3 stages of transitions.
- Ending – The ending phase is the phase in which we are grieving and letting go of the old.
- Limbo – The limbo phase is when the ending of the old has occurred or is about to occur but starting the new has not yet occurred. This phase is what can be most painful for us. This is when we feel like something is “wrong” and we are not sure why we are feeling some of the emotions we are experiencing (i.e. sadness, guilt, worry, shame, loneliness, ) There is nothing “wrong” with these feelings. The feelings are just releasing and processing as a way to prepare for the new journey that lies ahead.
- Beginning – This is the phase when we start to feel excitement about the new journey. We have processed the emotions, we are settled in the new, and we are excited about the growth and new opportunities!
3 Steps to help you get through transition and change!
- Be aware of the phase of transitions you are in. Be gentle with yourself during each stage and remember it is normal to experiencing these emotions during this time of change.
- Fully feel, express and process your emotions attached to each of the stages. Sometimes, if we are going through several transitions at a rapid pace all at once, we have no time to process all that has happened. As a result, there can be a backlog of unprocessed emotions, causing us to feel depressed and or anxious. It is important to fully feel and process all of the feelings connected to the transitions.
- Give yourself permission to feel what you need to feel. For example, if you are in the limbo stage, you can say something such as “I can be grateful for where I am headed AND I can be sad about what I am leaving behind.”
I would love to hear what has helped you get through transitions and change in your life!
Be well and take care!
Ronda Stevens is a licensed mental health therapist, certified health & wellness coach, certified holistic coach and founder of Ready, Set, Live Holistic Life and Wellness Coaching! Ronda has years of experience with compassionately guiding and supporting people make changes that dramatically improve and change lives! To learn more, please visit her website at www.getreadysetlive.com. You can contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is also available via phone 1-800-558-7080.