Things to Do When Experiencing a Life Transition

Expert Author Brenda Lunnie-Jobe
We have all experienced times in our lives that have challenged us. Maybe a family member or friend is seriously ill, you've been laid off work and unemployed longer than you expected, or your marriage is coming to an end. When life starts to feel out of control, here are seven tips that can help you manage the transition.
  1. Continue your daily routine - When everything around you appears to be changing and out of control the only thing that you can control is yourself. If you have a daily routine, stick to it as closely as possible. This will give you a sense of order and normalcy.

  2. Take a vacation from negative people - Negative people can really sink an already challenged mood. If you're already having trouble remaining positive about your situation, allowing another negative voice in your head will not help. So do yourself a favor and take a break from negative people. Where there is transition and challenge, there are opportunities. Do you want to miss out on opportunities because "Negative Nelly" is whispering in your ear: Surround yourself with positive thinkers. What if you can't escape negative people? Set limits on your conversation. Decide what you will and will not discuss with them. You're not obligated to share every thought or feeling with others.

  3. Practice good sleep hygiene - We underestimate the power of a good night's sleep. Getting great sleep is like hitting the restart button on your computer. Ditch your electronics before bed or watching television until you fall asleep. Take a hot bath/shower before bed. Have a cup of chamomile tea. Cut out caffeinated drinks after 4pm to help your body wind down for the evening. Evict your pets from the bed and intentionally prepare yourself for sleep.

  4. Clean up your diet - A dirty diet, full of processed foods, high in carbs, calories and fat can really zap your energy. During transition you need all the energy you can get. If all your friends are dirty eaters then maybe it's time you take the lead and influence them or find healthier friends.

  5. Find opportunities to laugh - Watch as many comedies as you can stand. Involve yourself in activities that make you smile. Animals are therapeutic. If you don't want the commitment of pet ownership, visit a doggie daycare or volunteer to walk dogs for the local animal shelter. Spend time with people you enjoy. Look for opportunities to laugh.

  6. Be active - Get out and get moving. Indoor workouts are fine, but there is no substitute for vitamin D, sunshine, mother nature provided. Take a walk, rent a bike, buy a bike, or go to a ball game. Being active is beneficial in so many ways, not only for your waistline and your mood, but for your social life as well. Becoming active leads to meeting new people. Remember, there are opportunities in transition.

  7. Be selective when receiving advice - Free advice is expensive advice. As you navigate your transition be sure to receive advice from people you trust have your best interest in mind; they value you and are only interested in a positive outcome for you.
In addition to these seven tips, it can be helpful to revisit things you've done in the past that have helped you through difficult times. If you find that dealing with your situation continues to be overwhelming, speaking with a counselor may give you the help and insight you need.
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