Creating peace with food, your body, and your life.
Carol Fredrek, MA
Registered Psychologist
  • Life Transitions

How to Successfully Move Through Life Transitions

We all go through changes and these transitions are a natural part of life. Some may be more difficult or unexpected creating an initial feeling of shock or they can be exciting, energizing and uplifting. Even good changes are often stressful.

Common Life Transitions

We all have our own stories of the changes that we have experienced in our lives. A death of a beloved pet, the diagnosis of a serious or chronic illness, divorce, becoming a parent or retirement create the need to adapt, accommodate or integrate new ways of being in the world or of doing life. Other common life transitions are career change, empty nest syndrome and ageing.

Impact of Life Transitions

To move through change there is always going to be a feeling of loss, a redefinition of roles or self-identity. These may be significant losses and take some time to move through to get to a place of acceptance or it is a loss that is expected in order to move onto something bigger.

There are models of change that have been proposed that guide us through the stages of grief and loss but change is unique to each person. It is important to remember that we also weave in and out of the stages. Honour your process. There are no magical rituals.

Tips for how to move from simply Surviving to Thriving and ultimately Flourishing

1. Acceptance
It is important to accept the reality of our situation. You will want to move from self-doubt and uncertainty to acceptance and confidence. To move forward you will need to change those patterns that keep you stuck. Make a list of things that you want to do differently.

2. Social Support
Meaningful connections are critical throughout this process. This may be a good friend or anyone in your world that really “gets you”. You need to share your story with others who are truly present, engaged and listening and who can be honest in their feedback with you and speak with real empathy from the heart. Where can you find this or do you already have this in your life and just need to access the support?

3. Opportunity for Growth
To see new opportunities in your life it is important to move beyond being stuck and feeling that you are just “surviving”. This will require you to be open to new ways of being in the world. You can develop a more hopeful perspective that you could not see before. Use your support network to help you identify these opportunities.

4. Past Successes
Draw on past successes. This is known to be a highly effective strategy for moving forward. Make a list of those things that have worked and what applies to this situation.

5. Self-Care
In situations that cause us distress we often forget to take care of ourselves and it is critical for moving through a time of change. This could be a walk in a nearby park, a bubble bath or a coffee with a good friend. The little things count. They can help you feel centred and grounded. Make a list.

6. Sense of Identity
Your sense of self may be significantly impacted. There is often a need to redefine the self. Try on new and different ways of being and interacting. Ask yourself “what will bring me fulfillment, satisfaction and joy?”

By Carol Fredrek & Jack Dobbs, Registered Psychologists

If you need support, tools or guidance to move through a life transition call us at (403)249-9337 to book a 30 MINUTE FREE PHONE CONSULTATION

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