When we are young, change has such a different appeal. It often feels like an exciting “first” or a rite of passage. We buy our first home, get a new job, find a soulmate, and establish our identity.
As time goes on, however, transitions often start to pick up a more negative connotation. While we have learned that change is inevitable, it can feel more overwhelming as we age. The loss of a parent, a divorce, becoming an empty nester, moving to an entirely new place, or starting a new career can seem like unwelcome transitions.
How do we ensure that these changes don’t push us over the edge? And how can we reframe transitions later in life to reclaim some of that excitement? Because the truth is, positive transitions at any point in our lives shouldn’t bring shame. They should bring excitement!
Tips to Help During Life Transitions
While it may feel cliché to tell you to take a step back and reflect, please do it. Life’s changes can blindside us and can lead to focus only on the transition ahead. Reflecting on the big picture and becoming more self-aware can help ground us when life feels out of control.
Talk It Out
Sharing our thoughts and feelings aloud can often help us see the change more clearly. Perhaps you have a friend who can offer an objective ear. Seeing a therapist can also provide clarity in the midst of the chaos. Find an individual who can be your sounding board while you sort out the emotions.
Lean Into Your Blessings
Look around your life for the things that have maintained consistent, throughout the change. What can you be grateful for? What brings you peace?
Though there may be some moving parts in your world, there are likely still some anchor people or comforts that can help through the transition. If your last child has left the nest, you may choose to lean on your partner. Do you have a sibling who can help you through the grief of losing a parent? Perhaps you spend more time doing a hobby as you navigate a career change. Who or what can you focus on, outside of the shift, to restore some order and balance to your life?
Find Opportunities for Joy
Once you start to put the transition into perspective, you can begin to find ways to appreciate it.
For instance, if you have just dropped off your child at college, consider this an opportunity to reconnect with your partner. When making a career change, think of all of the ways this new challenge will continue to help you grow. A fresh divorce can bring more time for you to find yourself again. When you have had a chance to start pushing through the darkness of an upheaval, you can begin searching for the light in the next chapter of your life.
Look for New Beginnings
Finding yourself in the midst of difficulties can make it tempting to throw in the towel. Start by recognizing that change is sad - something is going away - yet it provides an opportunity to build excitement for what’s coming up on the horizon. Allow yourself the space to work through the emotional components of that change, practice positive self-care, and then start looking for ways to embrace your new reality.
If you are experiencing a big life transition and need some help finding clarity in the chaos, please click here to download my free resource designed to help you get through it!