Transition has been a pretty prominent theme in my life lately, from changing friendships to moving multiple times within a couple months, to thinking about how I want my life and career to look next year, or in 5 years, or heck, next month.
I think that transition comes up so often in our twenties especially, in the midst of changing jobs and cities, moving, growing up “for real.”
But changes and transitions happen throughout our lives. Marriage, the birth of a child, kid starting school, moving, going back to work, staying home from work, kids growing up, graduations, starting college, divorces, deaths, illness, recovery, new friendships, ending of friendships. Changes in location, emotions, circumstances, finances, relationships. Change is one of the few constants in life.
So how do we stay grounded during these times? When life is tumultuous, what can we do to find some sense of balance and normalcy?
Well, I will say that what works for you may be different than what works for me. But here are a few of the ways that I stay grounded during times of transition.
Truth and Faith
Faith is a big part of what grounds me in the constants of life during transition. I bring myself back to scriptures about God’s faithfulness and constant love for us, and this helps me shift my perspective back to truth and hope. When we are reminded of our deepest values, it helps the rest fall back into place.
Another way that I help shift my own perspective is by reminding myself of what I can and cannot control. Bt dubs, I’m not great at this. But that just means I remind myself more often. We might know intellectually that we can’t control certain circumstances, but that’s not the same as accepting it. Only when I accept it, can I slow down and be more open to what happens next.
Whether it’s the top of a mountain, a sandy beach, a quiet park, or a vibrant city street, just get out there and walk around somewhere where you feel more alive. I cannot stress enough how helpful fresh air is to our bodies and souls. If just walking around isn’t your thing, maybe switch up your lunch routine and eat outside when you can, or hang out in a local park one day. Try anything you can to get more time in the sunshine and in nature in general. It really does help.
A Small Circle of Friends
In times of transition, attempting to maintain numerous relationships and a full social calendar can be pretty overwhelming. I honestly think it is a lot more beneficial to get real, quality time with those closest to you, whether that’s friends or family. Those are the people that show they care every day and are already involved in your life. It’s okay to take a little time away from social engagements in order to find your constants in the change and re-orient yourself. That doesn’t mean you need to just cut people out of your life! It does mean that you can give yourself permission to narrow your people priorities during an already-stressful time of transition.
Journaling, whether it’s writing in a physical journal or typing, is often really helpful for me. Journaling helps me mark the point I’m at in whatever transition is happening, and to reflect on that moment in time. It helps me look back and see how far I’ve come. It helps me remember the struggles, hopes, dreams, and fears I had before, and to see how they’ve changed. Feel free to just start writing whatever is in your heart. I find journal prompts pretty helpful too, as they help me to focus and narrow down what topics I want to write about.
I often do goal setting in the context of journaling. In the midst of a transition, especially when some of the pieces are still in flux, like a job or college search, goal setting helps me stay grounded by reminding me what I want the final result to be. I may not know exactly what job I’m looking for, or how much weight I want to lose, or where I want to move to, or what my next home will look like. But if I know what my values are related to my situation, I can make goals and visualize where I want to end up. Example: perhaps you don’t know what job you want, but you do know that you are seeking greater work-life balance. Goal setting could involve getting and visualizing a job with more balance, and the things that you want to do in your new-found free time.
Ok so this may not be for everyone, but I LOVE singing! I love music in general, and have played the piano and other instruments for most of my life. But I don’t always have a piano with me. I DO always have a voice, no matter where I am or what I’m doing. Singing, usually just for myself by the way, just brings me joy and helps me relax. I don’t usually sing in front of others, at least not solo. It’s just me time!
Cleaning and Organizing
Seasons of transition involve a lot of things I can’t control. Keeping my space clean, whether that’s my home, my bedroom, my car, or even my purse, relaxes me. Keeping these little parts of my life clean and organized help me feel a little more in control of my environment, which in turn helps me calm down enough to be more accepting of the things I can’t control.
To wrap up
These are just a few things that have helped me stay grounded during my current time of transition, as well as in the past. Every transition, and every person, is different and will have different needs. Perhaps the best thing you can do is take the concept behind each of these ideas and fit that into your life.
For example, Singing represents fun and ‘me time,’ journaling represents self-relfection, and goal-setting represents focusing on my priorities. Maybe your value of fun won’t translate to singing, but very well might apply to another area of your life.
So, do you have other ideas? What has typically helped you? Share your thoughts in the comments!