Dealing with significant changes in your life can be an exciting experience, but it can also feel confusing, uncomfortable, and foreign. The transition process can bring up many strong emotions and reactions, and feeling depressed and anxious is to be expected. Transitions are difficult because they shake your sense of identity. We naturally define ourselves in part by our surroundings, and it can be disorienting when these things change.
A New Chapter
In the midst of feeling a little lost during a transition, it can be easy to regret your decision. When this happens, recognize that this is a new chapter in your life. Remind yourself why you chose to make the change. While you need to acknowledge your loss, you don’t want to get stuck in the past. Acknowledging that a door is closed is psychologically healthy; spending your time staring at it is not.
Being in transition is a great opportunity for growth. It’s a chance for you to take a look at the parts of yourself and your life that you most value and assess how you can bring them into your new role. During this time, it’s often easier to establish new habits and ways of interacting with others in your life while letting go of past behaviors and decisions that may no longer serve you.
It can also be beneficial to recall previous times when you’ve successfully dealt with transitions. What helped you get through that period in your life? Looking back, how do you feel about the past decisions you made? What were you proud of, and what would you have done differently? Reflecting on your past can help you to make good decisions as you move forward.
Part of what helps people feel secure in transition is having a support system. In addition to seeking therapy to guide you through, make an effort to stay connected; keep in touch with your family, call up an old friend, volunteer, get involved with an organization, or ask a new co-worker to join you for lunch. Find people who you can really talk to. Being able to share how you’re feeling can be a tremendous source of strength.