• Monica Flores de Valgaz

Transitions: Coping Strategies for Times of Change

Transitions, the process of change. Our lives are full of them, they are inevitable, and often they are challenging. Is it a new semester, a new job, an upcoming move, a new addition to the family? Or maybe you’re facing multiple transitions at once.

We all face times of transition and change, and transitions can leave us feeling uncertain and afraid - and yet - we all have the ability to face these times with grace, self-compassion, and confidence. While the transitions in our life may or may not have been something we chose, we do get to choose how to respond to them. Here are a few tips to help you respond well to the ever evolving life we live.

First, let’s start with self-compassion. Now is not the time to be mean to yourself (pro tip: it’s never the time actually). Give yourself the same pep-talk you’d give to a friend! You’d likely treat your friend with grace, allowing time and space for them to feel their feelings, to make mistakes, to figure things out. (For some self-compassion practices from Dr. Kristin Neff, check out: https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/)

Next up, set realistic expectations. I know I’m not the only person who has walked into a new job for my first day and thought, “Okay, don’t mess up” … not exactly realistic, is it? Perhaps a more realistic expectation would be to try my best, learn from my mistakes, and hopefully over time the number of mistakes I make goes down. Give yourself a realistic timeline. Ask for help if you need it, lean on your support systems.

Last, but not least, prioritize yourself! Stay consistent with your self-care. So much of your life may be changing, but you are with you through it all. Sleep, eat, hydrate, shower – yes, those are the basics, and sometimes those may seem difficult to fit in. And I’ll challenge you to go above and beyond, do something you enjoy! Maybe it’s 5 minutes of reading a book (for fun), walking your dog, gardening, watching funny youtube videos, whatever brings you joy… please don’t forget about yourself! You are with you through it all.

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