Transitions are a natural part of life.
Every day we make multiple transitions as we move from one role to another. They are part of the rhythm of the daily flow of life, but if we’re honest, most of us do not navigate transitions well.
How many of us use the time between activities to check in with ourselves, to see how we are doing?
In this hectic and hurried world in which we live, transition time often looks like shooting off a quick text as we wait for a traffic light to turn green, squeezing an errand into the 20-minute space between leaving work and picking up the kids at school.
Most everyone is familiar with the term hangry, the idea that one can be irritable because they are hungry. They missed the cues their body was sending them until it was too late.
What if we began to view transitions differently?
What if we began to use transitions in a way that is more nurturing and kind to ourselves?
Covid has done a number on all of us. In this Covid/Post-Covid period in which we live, everyone is in a heightened state of anxiety. Every single person has been affected in some way by the pandemic. To cope with this heightened state of angst, here are some things to consider.
Begin to think about transition times as a welcome pause in activity, a chance to nurture your body as opposed to an opportunity to get more done. Use the time between activities to check in with yourself. Ask yourself, how are you feeling? What do you need? Take a few deep breaths. Drink some water. Have a snack. This way, you can show up to the next activity as a better version of yourself.
Incorporate mindfulness into your transitions. Most of us move throughout our day at such a busy pace that we are often unaware of what is happening right in front of us. A simple way to include mindfulness in transition time is through the use of our senses. Ask yourself, what are 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste? The idea is that the level of focus increases as you move from sense to sense. Mindfulness helps you get out of your head and become more present in your life. Try it and see for yourself.
Make Room for Compassion
The last suggestion is to offer yourself compassion. The majority of us tend to be hard on ourselves. We have all been through a lot these last two years. Everyone has experienced loss to some degree, whether it be the loss of a loved one due to Coronavirus, the loss of opportunities due to being in quarantine or any other number of losses. These losses must be grieved. Acknowledge the loss and the feelings associated with them.It’s ok to feel sad that you didn’t get to say good-bye to your loved one. It’s also ok to be disappointed that youdidn’t get to take that trip you had been planning. All loss is painful, no matter how big or how small. The key is to allow ourselves to feel the emotions associated with the loss and not label them as silly, trivial or unimportant.And this goes for our kids too. Our children have lost a significant period of their childhood, it is good for them to be sad about that. Talk with your children about what they feel they lost due to Covid. You might be surprised by what you hear.
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