I’m going to go down in the books saying just this: happiness in life is dependent on how well you handle its transitions. Well, and that attitude is EVERYTHING, but they are very interrelated. We all experience big and small life transitions: from moving houses to changing careers, relationship changes to having kids, or even retiring; changes are a huge part of our lives. While change can be exciting and fun, it can also easily rattle us internally and chronically if we let it…
Life transitions, good or trying, can trigger huge amounts of stress and mixed emotions. For me the last several months have caused a lot of mixed emotions since I had to lay off 17 great employees, my gym and income were shut down due to the pandemic, my children were out of school, quarantine has held us from seeing a lot of our best friends, and we are packing 42 years worth of accumulation and moving to a new town! With that being said, it’s also been difficult not having a normal routine. Luckily, I use plenty of coping strategies and share with my clients and friends to make sure we’re all staying healthy and happy even during the most difficult of times.
What are the Stages of Life Transitions?
Before we get into the coping strategies for life transitions that are imperative to your health, it’s important to break down and understand how you move through a huge change! People go through the ‘stages’ of a life transition is unique, varying patterns, often cycling through different parts multiple times.
During life transitions, you’ll experience a range of negative feelings (loss when clearing, overwhelm, anger, anxiety, confusion, numbness, regression, and self-doubt). This can lead you to feel a loss of self-esteem, belonging, safety, and a whole array of emotions. This is A LOT! You may handle it differently if it is a small transition, but in looking at the psychology of the average person, and from experience, some of these feelings are sadly the norm. Normal, but not helpful or healthy at all when you continue to experience these feelings for more than just for a day or two.
This doesn’t have to continue, however, and you do have to recognize that this choice is often yours alone. SO chose to coach yourself to view the change as a positive growth necessary in moving on from your past toward the future…dare to dream of best-case scenario and of the new opportunities that may come with this change. You’ll start to feel hopeful about that new future reality! This improves your perceived reality, which makes your true reality more positive and more probable. WHATEVER YOU PERCEIVE, YOU BELIEVE. I’ll say it again, whatever you confidently and consistently tell your brain, it believes, even if it’s a lie or exaggeration! So consistently talk kindly to yourself, and choose to see the good in every situation, so you can develop a fully optimistic view of the future after the transition and change.  During the first couple months of the pandemic, it was difficult to transition for me with having the gym closed, quarantine limiting my human exposure, and learning to homeschool. However, I quickly began to embrace it, control my controllables, and enjoy the downtime that I had to spend with the people that I love the most! Actually, I started this whole blog while in COVID since I knew I had to pivot and try to find another source of income!
Clearly, at each level of this process, coping strategies can really impact how you experience stress and other emotions, and it’s important to find a few ways to help you through.
Coping Strategies for Life Transitions
Focus on Your Mindset & Thoughts
One of the best ways to prepare for and get through life transitions is to spend lots of time on self-reflection. By changing the way you think about life changes, you can gain some control over the situation.
First, focus on the positives—you can even write them down as a tangible reminder that there will be good outcomes to a change, no matter how scary it seems. For me, I always spend each morning focused on the positive in my life and what is going to go right instead of focusing on things I can’t control. Change is a normal part of life, and even when things seem overwhelmingly negative, there are always positives in the long-run.
Another huge mindset strategy is to have grace with yourself. Expect to feel uncomfortable, and know that it’s normal to be reluctant during life transitions. It’s okay to grieve the chapter that you’re leaving behind! We all have moments where we don’t feel like we’re good enough or are inadequate, especially when we’re working on improving our lifestyle. Everyone has to start somewhere. It’s important to embrace that!
Remind yourself why you’ve chosen to make the change. If you’re going through a change that wasn’t your first choice, ask yourself why it’s happening and reflect on what you can control and what you do to make yourself feel less overwhelmed! 
Set Small Goals and Track Progress
When you know that a change is coming, break it up into smaller pieces wherever possible, tracking your emotions and outlook. This is a great way to stay in-tune with yourself and know when you need to add in other coping strategies.
For example, losing a set amount of weight can seem daunting and overwhelming because it can be a long process and requires so many steps. Breaking it up into small daily and weekly tasks helps you celebrate successes and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
This strategy can apply to lots of different life transitions you might experience, like beginning or ending a relationship or job…which seemed to affect most people over the last few months! You can help your kids through life transitions using this strategy, too—together, create a list of all the parts going into that larger change, and check them off one-by-one.
Take a Break from Alcohol
It can be tempting when you’re feeling stressed, nervous, sad or overwhelmed to start relying on alcohol or other vices as a coping mechanism. But alcohol actually will heighten all of those negative feelings you’re experiencing. Plus, it can have a negative effect on your gut, and the last thing you need is to cause long term health detriment when you are starting a new chapter of your long life!
Instead, focus on your overall health and wellness. Listen to your body. When you’re stressed, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, exercising to relieve stress, and eating nutritious and filling foods. Taking care of your body is the first step to feeling good about a change!
Rely on Your Support System
During life transitions, it’s more important than ever to rely on your support system. Your friends and family are a hugely valuable resource always, but especially during times where you need extra support. From tangible support, like helping you pack for a move or supporting you after a new baby arrives, to emotional support, like being a good listener when you’re having a bad day, which can be done from anywhere! Utilizing your support system from near or far provides you with huge opportunities to cope in a healthy way.
For me, I always feel so much better when I’m able to chat with my friends or spend some quality time laughing with daughters. It’s all about that human connection and showing them how much you love and care for them.
Beyond asking for support, you can also choose to make time for the people that are important to you. A huge part of the stress surrounding life transitions is feeling like you’re losing so much—so being around those you love can remind you of the constants that you’ll always have, no matter what life changes happen.
Prepare Yourself for Change
The final coping strategy I’m sharing today is to prepare yourself as much as possible for a change that’s ahead. Be aware of what’s happening, and allow yourself to start processing it early and handle it with as much grace as possible when it comes.
There’s no wrong way to go through a big change, but you can eliminate some of the stress and negative emotions by being prepared and patient. Implement routines that can stay consistent throughout the whole change process so you’ll have some sense of normalcy. 
Be organized, too. In your daily life (or at least weekly or monthly), sit down and make sure you’re as organized as you can be. This will help make the transition easier when it comes time to make a change! For example, if you’ve been creating weekly budgets and following them, losing your job will feel less intimidating than if you’ve been spending without thinking it through. Or, another example is if you do monthly clean-outs where you donate certain items and move others to storage, an eventual move will be less daunting.
Have you ever tried any of these coping strategies for dealing with life transitions? Adding even one solid coping strategy that works for you makes a huge difference in reducing the stress and negative emotions associated with change.
How Thorne Supplements Can Help With Your Transition
Our bodies rarely acquire all the vitamins and minerals that we need to stay healthy and strong due to diet and lifestyle. This, unfortunately, can cause sickness or dysfunction over time. Thankfully reputable supplements are a good option to make sure you’re getting all the right amounts of nutrients that you need. Because you should only put third-party tested, clean ingredients in your body, I am picky about my vitamin sources, but Thorne is one of my trusted sources. They offer natural, clean, safe, and high-quality supplements to give you confidence that you’re taking the best care of your body.
I use many of their products and love them so much! I want to make sure you have access to making good/clean supplement choices too! I’ve been able to negotiate savings for you to help you on your health journey. My readers can use this link for 15% off every purchase so you can feel better about purchasing directly from the manufacturer, ensuring quality, and get started living a healthier life today! Comment below with any questions, I’m always happy to help!
 Joelson, R.B. (2020). Managing Difficult Life Transitions. Retrieved July 3, 2020, from https://richardbjoelsondsw.com/articles/managing-difficult-life-transitions/
 Kolakowski, S. (23 August 2013). How to Make the Most of Your Life Transitions. Huffpost. Retrieved July 3, 2020, from https://www.huffpost.com/entry/life-transitions-identity_b_3456314
 Whitbourne, S.K. (14 March 2017). 10 Ways to Make It Through Your Life’s Transitions. Psychology Today. Retrieved July 3, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201703/10-ways-make-it-through-your-life-s-transitions