How to Handle Life’s Transitions

As we end one phase in our lives, a new one begins. And so it goes with life’s transitions. The challenge with transitions, exciting as they can be, is that we do not know what’s on the other side. It’s all new and change can be scary.
Sometimes change comes suddenly without foresight of change. When this happens, it is most important to get support and to hold on to routines and structures that are positive in our lives. Keep that exercise routine, classes, group activities that feel supportive. We need to know that there are some constants, so keep the ones that work.

In many situations, we have a sense change is coming and when we do, this is best time to take action. Spencer Johnson, M.D. author of the bestselling Who Moved My Cheese? writes about the styles of four mice who have to adapt to the cheese being moved. The message is that those of us who perceive that change is coming and prepare for it, adapt most quickly to change. Those who become angry or deny that change has arrived and do nothing, do not adapt well to change and pay the consequences. Those who eventually adapt to change have to work through their denial and procrastination in order to see something better.

Here are some tips to ease the stress of the end of projects, situations and relationships:
•As we see change coming or know it is in the near future, seek new opportunities.
•Grieve what we are losing and appreciate and give thanks for the positives of the experience.
•Identify things that did not work and ways to do them better in the future.
•Make a list of everything we learned from the experience that we can use in future situations.

The most successful people are those who understand change and take advantage of new situations. They transform obstacles into opportunities by finding ways to use their strengths and build on them. Change and transition is inevitable. It’s how we view it and use it that determines our success.

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