In our previous Wisdom Note, we explored six essential waypoints to live a better life. These bits of wisdom help us to live a rich and satisfying life while creating a living legacy. If you miss any of our Wisdom Notes please go to the blog to read previous articles.
Just as the seasons change, life brings with it major transitions, and this week we will explore the…
5 Tips to Navigate Life’s Transitions
Change is inevitable and at times, those changes come in the form of major life transitions. Sometimes the transitions we face are welcome and joyous, such as graduating, getting married, having a new baby, starting a business, or moving to a new house. We feel excited about the possibilities ahead and look forward to the positive changes these events will bring to our lives.
However, transitions we don’t want or didn’t ask for often come our way as well. Divorce, losing a job, a business failure, sudden illness or injury, and the loss of a loved one are all examples of major transitions that do not initially appear favorable or desired. These changes can leave us feeling understandably angry, anxious, and depressed.
Regardless of the circumstances, navigating any kind of life transition often causes us to feel like a fish out of water. It leaves us in an awkward emotional place that demands us to respond in new ways and possibly even adapt to a different way of life. We often long for the way things used to be. Here are some tips for navigating these unfamiliar times and creating a new “normal.”
1. Acknowledge the Transition
Be honest with yourself about how the transition affects your daily life, old patterns, and routines. When we are unable to rely on our former expectations or daily routines, it can leave us feeling unstable and overwhelmed. Fighting the transitions that occur in our lives can cause greater frustration and keep us from adapting to its new aspects.
2. Expect to Feel
Any life transition, whether wanted or unwanted, leaves us with many conflicting emotions. A new baby is a joyful and exciting addition to life, but can also make new parents feel anxious and overwhelmed until settling into new routines and ways of life with the child.
Feelings of excitement, anxiety, depression, and anger are common when adapting to life transitions. Additionally, it is natural to have feelings of grief and loss as we move forward in life and leave things behind. It’s healthy to feel all of the feelings that occur with any of these transitions. Even so, it’s important to move through these emotions and not get “stuck” in the anger, anxiety, or depression for too long.
3. Listen to Your Body
Navigating any major transition can be stressful and impact us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Make sure to get proper devotional time, rest, nutrition, and exercise; this can be a great way to lay a healthy foundation.
Know when it’s time to take a break, do something fun, or go out with friends. Or, join a small group Bible study can to gain balance if you are stuck in a place of uncertainty. Having realistic expectations and timeframes for the transitions can serve as a reminder to take it one day at a time.
4. Look for New Opportunities
When it feels like life has been flipped upside down and is no longer recognizable, it is easy to look only at the loss or the negative aspects of the transition. However, these times of transition can also be great opportunities to explore new things in your life.
Times of change are a great chance to meet different people, try new things, use your skills in a unique way, or step back and re-prioritize your life. You may get a new and better job, start a business based on your experience and expertise, or form relationships with new friends. Whatever the case may be, looking for new opportunities can help the makeover of your life be positive.
5. Get Support
It’s hard to do it all alone. Leaning on others and learning from others can give the moral support you need to feel more grounded and to move on from the transition. Friends, family, church, small group Bible studies, or a professional can help support you during this time of upheaval. Don’t be afraid to ask for help; be specific with what you need and how you can be best supported during this time. If you feel stuck in the loss, anger, anxiety or depression that comes with life transitions, find a pastor, counselor, or other professionals who can help you with the emotional and spiritual stress of moving on.
Letting go of the old and embracing the new during life transitions can be hard. At times, it may feel like things will never be normal again. While the circumstances are often different, doing the hard work of letting go and moving on can bring about positive results with time.
Getting support and looking for opportunities in these times can provide us with the ability to grow in previously unimaginable ways. Finally, it’s important to be patient and remember this season of life will not last forever. The transitions we struggle with today eventually will become new routines that will lead to a new “normal.”
In addition to the 5 tips just mentioned, as a Christ-follower, I feel that ultimately the key to assisting us during the difficult times of transitions is the strength that we can gain from God through His Word, which is summed up in Romans 8:26-30, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.”
Along our trek for this week, we visited the five tips to navigate life’s transitions. Next week we will explore the ten secrets of sustained success. In addition to our weekly Wisdom Notes, encourage your friends and family to also join us on our daily podcast – Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.