Transition is never easy.
It’s usually unexpected and, when it isn’t, we usually under or overestimate the amount of energy and time the transition period will take.
Here’s the thing. Transition, like change, is inevitable, but I believe there is a way for us to navigate change and its transitions in a healthy way that causes us to thrive instead of become stressed out and overwhelmed.
I do not know what sort of season of transition you are going through, but currently I am facing four areas of transition (yes, four):
I am transitioning into being an Empty Nester
I am transitioning into the “sandwich generation” of taking care of parents and children
I am transitioning in my parenting roles with both of my children
I am transitioning into menopause
Maybe you are experiencing some of these same transitions, or maybe you are facing others. Each change in our lives has all sorts of tentacles of possibility that we can’t possibly plan for or anticipate. But, there are strategies we can use to help make the unexpected less overwhelming and stressful.
Here are the ones I am currently using to help me navigate my seasons of transition well:
For the Empty Nester or almost Empty Nester: Hire a Coach. My husband and I are working with Scott Jones of Scott Jones Coaching to help us proactively build a marriage without our kids dictating our schedules and with our parents needing more and more of our help. Coaching can help those of us in that empty nester phase transition well by helping us develop new communication strategies and ways to build emotional intimacy that doesn’t include talking about the kids and work all the time.
For the Perimenopausal/Menopausal: Enlist the help of health specialists. Menopause is no joke and neither is aging. I want to be around for all life has to offer and to do all God has called me to as as healthy an individual as possible. Personal health specialists like wellness doctors, chiropractors, health coaches, our primary care doctors, and our OB/GYN can help us transition well by better educating us about how our bodies are hardwired and how to best care for them accordingly as we enter a new stage of life.
For the Caregiver: Reach out for help. My sister and sister-in-law, who both live our parents, are the primary care-takers, but that does not relieve me of responsibility. If you are like me, ask your primary caregiver how you can best support them. If you are the primary caregiver reach out for support and relief. Honest, open communication can help everyone transition well into becoming the caretaker the aging adults in our worlds need us to be.
For the Transitioning Parent: Update your parenting strategy. As our children age we naturally learn we need to change how we parent them. But, sometimes we can get stuck when faced with letting our kids launch into their own lives. We have gotten used to being in control of their actions (mostly….) and dictating how they use their time. Once they leave the house though all of that changes. Updating our strategy to coaching rather than telling, can help us transition into the parents our adult children need us to be. Developing a coaching relationship with my kids has given me a way to stay connected, build trust, and become a valuable resource for them.
We are all going to experience change in our lives, which means we are all going to experience seasons of transition.
We can choose to keep doing things the way we have always done them. But let me ask you this: If you keep doing things the same way, do you think you will continue to get the same result when the variables are all changing? Going it alone, sticking to the same routines and strategies, and fighting the transition are all ways to build anger, frustration, bitterness and resentment. Is that really what you want?
Enlisting the help of others in order to engage in personal growth and development will give us the opportunity to navigate in a healthy way those seasons of transition we will experience.
Next week I will share the importance of our mindset in seasons of transition.
Until then, please join the conversation. If you haven’t already, log in/sign up today (the button is at the top of this page) to leave a comment with the tools and strategies you are using to help transition in a season of change. Or, ask a question to get some feedback.
I hope to hear from you! Together we are better at navigating life’s seasons of change with confidence!