You are in for an absolute treat because today I’ve got a guest post for you from my gorgeous friend Christina from Hugs and Lattes. Christina is basically the slightly older, slightly sassier, Southern version of me. Her blog was one I fell in love with instantly and I kinda stalked her for awhile until we became friends. I’m so delighted to have her share this post on how to embrace major life transitions because right now I’m smack bang in the middle of a whirlwind of change and I need all of the advice I can get!
Oh and once you’ve read this post you should hop on over to Christina’s blog because I’ve written a little guest post for her too.
What does moving, a job change, and getting married all have in common?
They are three of life’s biggest stressors, and they are transitions.
Over the last 2 years, I’ve been constantly in transition. In 2015 I graduated college; 3 weeks later I started to work for the college I graduated from. In 2016 I got engaged and married. Our wedding was December 10, so that’s close enough to 2017 to say that 2017 has consisted of adjusting and transitioning from living alone, watching as much Grey’s Anatomy as I wanted, and considering cereal as a viable dinner option.
Transitions are stressful, exciting, scary, and overwhelming all at the same time. We call that emotion anxious. I remember when I was getting ready to graduate college, I was absolutely anxious all the time. I looked forward to what the future held, yet I was terrified of the unknown answers. There were three questions that worked over and over in my brain constantly: Where am I living? Where will I work? and When will I get married?
At this point, my boyfriend and I already knew we were going to tie the knot, we just didn’t know when. My vote was sooner rather than later. (It was later.)
My go-to for stressful transitions – and stressful times in general – is to take control. I deep clean and purge things, I try to keep my house as clean as possible, I become significantly attached to my planner, and anyone that throws off my groove is in danger of meeting my mood. When I get this way, I allow little room for flexibility and error.
The keys to surviving and embracing transitions call for flexibility, awareness, and inviting opportunity.
How to embrace major life transitions:
For someone who did cheerleading and gymnastics the majority of her life, I should be a lot more flexible than I truly am. Flexibility is easy to conceptualize, harder to implement. In the words of my favorite DC villian, Captain Cold/Snart:
“Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan.”
I’m a plan freak. I have a calendar at work. A calendar in my office at home. A desk calendar. A daily planner. A shared iCalendar with my husband. You get the deal – I like to have a plan.
While having a plan is glorious and may give you some action steps and help you to mentally prepare, you have to expect the plan will fail. You have to be prepared to do something new and something different.
There’s a fun saying in the Christian circles that goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plan.” Without explicating this phrase and having an entire theological discussion on it, know that what you may have planned for your future may not go accordingly. This is OK. Maria from Sound of Music, AKA Julie Andrews, the Queen said,
“When God closes a door, surely he opens a window somewhere.”
Be on the look out for open windows in your life.
We all want to live our best life. When we are going through transition, we often feel like our world is in upheavel. It’s hard to live our best life or be our best self when we can’t process what is happening around us.
During times of transition, it’s important that you have little routines, or little perks to help you calm down and be self-aware.
One way is to journal. I find myself cuddled up on my couch with a journal when I’m going through a particularly big transition. I love to look back over my last year to see what I was thinking, how I was feeling, and the prayers I wrote as I planned an inter-cultural wedding to my Zimbabwean husband, and prepared my heart for marriage. If journaling isn’t your thing, try meditating, or coloring.
Do something that gets your mind in a quiet place so you can ask yourself how you’re doing.
Studies show that 10 minutes of meditation a day improves your mood, your productivity, and can even lead to a longer, healthier life.
Know that in this time of transition, the world doesn’t stop for you. Others around you are going through transitions of their own, and they may handle their season of life differently than you.
By being self-aware, you become open to how others process and walk through their life. When you can open your eyes to your friends, family, workmates, and strangers, you will be able to walk through life with them.
Don’t talk so much, listen. Be a shoulder to cry on. Don’t always try to relate to their situation; allow them to go on their journey. Be an encourager.Don't talk so much...learn to listen. Be the shoulder that others can lean on for support. Click To Tweet
With transitions comes expected and unexpected opportunity. Take each in your stride. When an unexpected opportunity arises, ask yourself, “Where will this take me?” If it can grow you in a healthy way, grab that opportunity by the horns.
My father in law says no experience is bad experience. Within reason, each step you take can lead you to triumph if you steward it properly. Even when you fail, you’ve learned something about yourself.
The Bible says that “God works together all things for good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28.)
Don’t be so cautious that you miss out on the experience of a lifetime.
That being said, don’t be so stupid that your experience causes you to miss out on the rest of your lifetime.
Transitions are inevitable. What do you do to equip yourself?Don't be so cautious that you miss out on an experience of a lifetime. Click To Tweet
Christina (or Nina to her dearest friends) is a lifestyle blogger at Hugs & Lattes. When she isn’t blogging, she’s cooking a new recipe, cuddling up with her husband and Netflix, and reading her book club’s latest novel. You can find her on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.
Now tell us…
What big transitions have you experienced lately?
How do you embrace major life transitions?