Let’s talk about transitions.
Are you going through one? Or just feeling a little off?
In this video, I’m going to share a little about the 3 step process of transitions and then 10 Self Care Habits you can integrate into your life that will improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
The science of transition is discussed in detail in William Bridges book “Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes”. He makes the distinction in his book that while change is situational, transition is psychological.
All transitions follow a process of:
- Ending, or breaking up with the old cue system and identity that reinforced your roles and behavior. In this phase, you enter a period of disengagement, dismantling (cognitive process, like remodeling a house), disidentification (distancing yourself from the old ways of defining yourself), disorientation (loss of directions and more formless role), and disenchantment (to really change you have to realize that some significant part of your old reality was in your head). Going through an ending process can be painful and it’s important to let yourself mourn the ending. It is also a sign that you’re ready to see and understand more.
- Neutral Zone, a time in between when things are more formless and uncertain. This is where you may seek answers or new resources and ideas.
- A New Beginning, when you return from the phase of disengagement to being actively engaged again. In this phase, you translate insight into action and integrate your new identity with elements of the old one.
Transition is a necessary and natural part of life beyond graduation, marriage, and children. There are seasons for growth and seasons for stillness. Some transitions you may experience include:
- Loss of relationships such as friendships, romantic relationships, and family
- Changes in home life such as getting married, going back to school, moving to a new place, partners in transition
- Personal changes in your health, lifestyle, appearance
- Work and financial changes including fired, retired, changing jobs, advancement, or taking on a mortgage
- Inner changes encompassing a spiritual awakening, deepening social/political awareness, psychological insights, changes in self-image, beliefs or values, and pursuing new dreams or old ones
As you experience transitions, your health can be impacted, physically, mentally, and socially. Thus, self care is even more important during times of transition. To turn up the dial on your self care, accept your need for time in transition. Speeding things up is a tempting idea, but that only stirs things up in ways that disrupt the natural formative processes that are going on.
Also, find a regular time and place to be alone where you can connect with yourself more deeply and allow inner signals can make themselves heard.
Here are 10 self care habits you can integrate into your life that will improve your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health
- Meal plan and prep: Especially during times of transition, you may feel a little off or need a break from your routine. It’s even more important to make sure you take care of yourself and feed yourself nutrient meals and drinks.
- Notice your self-talk: Where do your thoughts go during the day? Do you linger in the past or worry about the future. Notice when your thoughts are going in a more critical place and ask yourself, “What do you really need right now”? Do you need support, assurance, or love? Place notes around your house to remind yourself of the things you like about yourself, the need to hear the most when you’re feeling down, the things you believe in, and the things you value the most.
- Move your body: Any sort of movement or exercise can help you release tension. And it doesn’t have to be exercise. It can be dancing, going for a walk, or cleaning your apartment.
- Engage in deep play: Deep play is anything that is mentally or physically absorbing, that give you quick, clear rewards that you don’t get in your job or other parts of your life. It can also be something that gives you a chance to test yourself. Examples of deep play include playing music, making music, puzzles, chess, gardening, painting, rock climbing, gardening, and much more. This practice is powerful because active rest is more replenishing than passive rest so when you immerse yourself in these activities, you get into flow and can actually recharge more.
- Journal every day: This allows you to practice observing your thoughts with more awareness and less judgment. It teaches you how to reflect, ground into gratitude and affirmation. It’s a good chance to treat yourself like a good friend and listen to yourself the way you would for them. I like using a journaling tool like Calm or Notion and do a quick check in every day so that I can be aware of my emotional states, what’s going on in my head, and I can practice reflecting and talking myself through it.
- Treat your senses: This is anything that can soothe or isolate any of your sense such as a long shower, essential oils, aromatherapy, lighting candles, listening to music, or eating a piece of chocolate. When you’re more present with your senses, you can also be more mindful, in general, of how you’re feeling and be more connected with yourself.
- Show yourself love through your love languages: The five love languages are words of affirmation, gifts, quality time, physical touch, and acts of service. We all use different love languages at different points. Most of us will have a dominant love language that we like to use to give and receive love Do you know what your love language is? When you know what that is, you can give yourself love through that too. For example, if you like giving gifts, you can treat yourself to something nice. Or if you like quality time, you can spend quality time with yourself reading a book, journaling, or doing a fun solo activity.
- Deep breathing: I love the box technique where you breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, and breathe out for 4 counts, and hold for 4 counts. This helps you reduce anxiety, increase focus, and put your nervous system at ease.
- Plan your self care in advance: Look in your calendar and block out time for self care days or hours. If you can carve out time, especially when you know you’ll need time to recover and rest, this is a great way to plan around it and make it a non-negotiable.
- Get in touch with your true desires: We often feel lost during transitions because we’re disconnected from what we really want. Start to notice any of the cues of when you have wanting. When you are hungry, what does it actually feel like”? When you want rest, what does that feel like? And start to give yourself what you actually want. Ultimately, you are in the driver’s seat in your life journey and you call the shots. When you know what you want, you also know what you don’t want. When you learn say no, you are simply communicating to people how to treat you, what your boundaries are, and being assertive about what your actual needs are. Learning to say no is such a beautiful way to practice self care immediately. Learning to say no is just as important as learning to say yes to the right things!
Transitions are an important part of becoming the person you are and who you’ll be in the future. It’s not always a pretty process, but we can give ourselves the grace to go through it with some more self love and care. This is how we can also learn to empathize with people in our lives who are going through transitions, and better support them by learning how to support ourselves.
See you in the next video!