Life is full of transitions. Each stage brings new changes, challenges, and opportunities. Some transitions are simple. Others are difficult. As we begin the second half of 2020, you may be facing a lot of transitions right now.
Every stage of life has transitions. How do you handle these changes?
You’ve probably learned by now that life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. There isn’t any one recipe for everyone to follow. But this doesn’t mean you can’t learn to manage life’s challenges.
Ask yourself, what transitions are you facing? What are your goals? How can you adjust in a positive, healthy way?
How Does Your Environment Affect You?
2020 is a year of transition for everyone. Covid-19 is changing how you live your life. Psychologists predict the upcoming months of adjusting back to “normal” may cause anxiety for many.¹ As you adapt, you may feel uncertain and worried.
And that’s okay. You’re not alone.
For several weeks now, you’ve also seen people around the globe rise up in a call for racial justice. The world is changing, and these changes affect everyone—including you.
Pause. Think of how your environment creates new challenges you may not be aware of. Awareness of your surroundings is one step toward a positive transition.
The Stages of Life Create Challenges
You change with your environment, and you change with each new phase of life. Every stage—childhood, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and late adulthood—introduces new ways you need to adjust.
Whether you’re learning how to drive, or trying to incorporate both work and family into life, you’re facing challenges.
It can be difficult as you’re adjusting to a new job, a new relationship, or a new home. Sometimes you may feel you’re the only one having a hard time. But this is not true.
Everyone has their own challenges.
People adjust in different ways. What is a simple transition for you may be difficult for someone else. Take a step forward by not comparing your situation to anyone else’s.
Remember, even positive changes aren’t always easy.
- A new job is exciting, but for many it’s also terrifying.
- Marriage is a big milestone in life. And it takes a lot of work.
- Retirement is a time to rest and do the things you’ve wanted to do for decades. But it’s also a time of uncertainty.
Do you see what’s happening here?
Change is Stressful
Now, short-term stress isn’t all bad. It can actually be helpful.
You might experience this right before public speaking. Hormones cause increased blood flow and release glucose into the bloodstream. This fuels the brain and heightens your senses, improving your performance.²
But long-term stress can lead to harmful symptoms.
This is stress that lasts for days, weeks, or even months. Sometimes you may experience this over school, a new job, or relationships.
Long-term stress may cause negative effects on the body. It can create memory disorders, weaken your immune system, or trigger diseases.³ Because of this, it’s important you don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed.
What steps must you take to handle transitions and not stress out?
Reduce Stress Through a Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise and a healthy diet is a great way to lower stress levels. Practice mindfulness and staying present in the moment through yoga and meditation. Mindfulness helps you process your emotions.⁴
Take time to relax and take care of yourself. Your health strengthens you to face the challenges and transitions ahead. Be kind to yourself.
Surround yourself with good people who care.
Studies show a strong support system helps you adjust more effectively and find satisfaction in life.⁵ Don’t underestimate the importance of relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. These connections help you tackle big transitions in life.
Your Brain is a Powerful Muscle That Adapts
Do you know what your brain is capable of?
The human brain changes as its environment changes. It does this through a process called plasticity. Your experiences cause updates in neural connections. These changes tell you how to handle similar situations in the future.⁶
So as you learn from the past, your brain upgrades, and you become an experienced individual.
How does your brain do this? It reacts to predictable changes. Your brain remembers the rewarding stimuli of an experience and adapts to environmental demands to avoid danger. In this way, you’re prepared to face future challenges.
You’re not even aware of it. But every day you discover new ways to overcome the stages of life. Never forget you have a powerful tool capable of adapting effectively: your brilliant brain.
Remember, It’s Okay to Ask for Help
You’re learning. You’re growing. But every now and then you face a challenge a little more intimidating than others.
Maybe you’re struggling to manage the stress. Maybe you’re at a crossroads and don’t know which path to take. You think you can’t go forward alone.
Ask someone to help you.
Find a partner, friend, or coworker to listen and help you work through a stage of life. You should never feel ashamed to ask for help. No one wants to feel alone, especially during a hard time.
But if you’re still struggling to overcome challenges, you may want to connect with a life coach.
Coaches help you gain insight into your specific phase of transition.
They provide the tools to transform intimidating challenges into enriching steps. You’ll work together to establish a map that leads to your ultimate goal. With some help through coaching, you’ll discover the solutions to your struggles.
If you want to learn more about overcoming life transitions through coaching, click here to get in contact with me, Coach Pete—a career and life coach. Let me help you discover the steps to your success.
- Be patient and kind to yourself
- Apply the tools within you
- Ask for help
Turn every transition into a positive step forward.