As humans, many of us really struggle with change and transition. We cling to our routines, the people and things that feel familiar, safe and home-y. Whether we like it or not, a time of change and transition will come our way and learning how to deal can be challenging, especially when it’s an unwanted transition.
Times of change and transition can look so different; a rough break up, a move to a new city, start of a new school, program or career, a new workout, loss of a close friendship.
As a military spouse, change & transitions are part of my norm. To be honest, they used to be something I would dread. I really struggled with letting go and having to start anew. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to love these changes and transitions. ..And even when I don’t, I’ve definitely gained some knowledge in how to better cope with them.
Here are some tips and tricks to dealing with change and transition:
1. Hold tight to what feels good and brings you comfort.
a. When change comes your way, it can be helpful to cling to what feels familiar. Things that you can bring with you or practice, no matter what is going on externally. This can look different for everyone. For some, it might look like a consistent yoga practice, eating well, a sacred morning routine or watching your favorite movie.
2. Lean on your people!
a. That is what they’re there for after all. Your beloved friends and family are there to help pick you up when you’re struggling. Social connection is so influential in our well-being. Feeling supported and heard can make all the difference as you face the ups and downs that often come with a big change
3. Have patience and grace with yourself
a. Wanting to be done with a period of growth and change is natural because it is so uncomfortable. It’s easy to feel frustrated or discouraged when things aren’t moving as quickly as we’d like them to. Practice patience with yourself and trust that you are doing the absolute best you can. Giving yourself some grace can help you move through the transition without any unnecessary strife and struggle. No one is perfect and some things take time, trial and error and patience.
4. Let your emotions out.
a. No seriously, change is hard and trying to put on a tough face when you’re struggling is most likely not going to help. If you’re sad, let yourself be sad. Angry? That’s okay. Scared?? Totally normal. Letting healthy emotions surface allows them to come and go with ease. The more we resist them, the longer they linger and larger they become.
5. Learn to ride the wave
a. The thing with change and transition is that it doesn’t, and can’t, last forever. Nothing in life is permanent, really. In the moment, when we’re in the throw of it, this can be really, really hard to remember. Pain and struggle when we’re in it often feels like it will never go away. Try thinking of a difficult transition as riding a wave. If you’re surfing in the ocean, waves come and go right? There are times you are successful and stand up on your board, feeling pure bliss as your ride the wave to the finish. Other times, the wave can come crashing and smash you right in the face. Before you know it, the ocean taking us under getting thrown by the ocean. The wave comes, and it goes, no matter what. Know that the challenging transitions will come, and they will go.
6. Seek the good from the struggle.
a. Depending on the day, I love and hate this approach. Sometimes the truth is change can just be really, really hard and sucky. However, on days where it may not feel so heavy, can you look for anything good that may come from this change of season? Maybe letting go of a close relationship leaves space for you to focus on yourself and your personal growth or starting new workout, though challenging, will eventually lead you to improving your fitness?
As difficult as it may be at times, change often leads to some pretty big growth. Even though it doesn’t feel like it right now, you may just look back in a few weeks, months, or maybe even years and treasure this difficult time because of how much it taught you. Nonetheless, hang in there and take it one day at a time.