My top five things to balance and empower yourself in any life transition:
Tip 1: Be still, and assess the situation
Yes, I am borrowing this from bear encounter safety training 101, because it works so well and is applicable to pretty much any situation that involves change or surprise. Being still is not a “Mannequin Challenge”. Being still means focusing on the moment at hand while you take deep breaths and assess where you are, what you have, what lies behind you, what lies ahead.
Tip 2: Prepare
If your transition is an anticipated move, preparing yourself is a no-brainer. However, sometimes, the transition you are facing comes suddenly. Taken by surprise, we often rush ahead and soon find ourselves checking off never ending to-do lists. Whether you were laid off or your partner announced the end of the relationship, whether you are having immigration issues, or you are taking advantage at the last minute of a promotion that requires you to move abroad – preparation is key in maintaining your balance and sanity. I listed more specific steps for careers, relationships, immigration issues and international transition, or relocating nationally and internationally in my mini-transition guide Seven Northern Lights.
Tip 3: Self-care
Again, a no-brainer, you might think, but it is surprising how many of us forget to take good care of our physical, mental, and emotional needs. In the stress of a transition, treat yourself. You won’t have time to think much, so just choose what’s best for you, not what’s quickest, easiest, cheapest. The slice of pizza works for a day, but not every day.
Get your clean water, your fruits and vegetables (sources of the cleanest cell water obtainable), and your clean protein to feed your body.
Squeeze in a 30 minute walk at least three times a week, even if it is just a walk around the block. Try getting to the park at least once a week. Connecting with nature, walking in a forest, is as medicinal as taking aspiring, if not more.
Laugh often – surround yourself with funny people, check funny instagram memes, watch funny shows or blooper videos, or take two wooden matchsticks, stick them vertically in your mouth against your bottom teeth, and try to maneuver the tips into your nostrils. (Definitely get back to me on how that went, with pictures or video please!)
Turn off the noise, find quiet, meditate, pray, read before sleep so you get sufficient amounts of restorative sleep.
Hug. Hugs are perfect, you never just give, you always get one back, right?
Tip 4: Assume Innocence
Everyone can become a Friend One thing that truly made a difference for me when I changed locations – I learned to give people a chance. As an introvert, I had to learn to make the first move. What I learned over time was that we have a lot more in common than is obvious at first sight. I concluded a few years ago that all of humanity essentially want the same things: knowledge of our purpose, someone to love, something meaningful to do, and someone to love us back. When I approach or respond to strangers with that thought in my heart, first encounters are disarming. Try it, and let me know how you felt, and what happened. I really want to hear your thoughts and feelings about this, because it transformed how I connect with people, and I am curious about your transition experience. I am still an introvert and recharge in blissful solitude or in the presence of only few, but my efforts at making friends are much more successful, and a lot less anxious.
Tip 5: Routine
I learned this after an unanticipated transition: starting a routine after you relocate, or after a break-up, a loss, or any crisis will help ground you, give stability, and a sense of control. To move out of confusion into more clarity, having a routine is helping us settle in. Start small, and build up. A routine can consist of:
- a daily 30 minute walk, or
- a small, informal tea ceremony at home. It can be that
- time set aside for journaling, or
- exercise, stretching with a buddy or by yourself, or
- your favorite, uplifting tv show.
Adding time for meditation, prayer, and contemplating things that you are thankful for daily will transform your transition days into gentle powerballs.
So much for Ki’s keys to a smoother transition. You can read more and be inspired by the amazing Alaskan Aurora Borealis here.
My biggest goal, and wish for you, for 2017 is this: Upgrade to Simple. Transitions are more fluid that way. I don’t need any more stuff. I am letting go of complicated. I release heavy. Saying bye-bye to difficult. Farewell to drama. Good riddance to what doesn’t serve us anymore.
Welcome the Upgrade to Simple.