One thing we all have in common: 2020 is a year filled with transitions. And if you’ve lived as long as I have, you may recall other years of deep transitional stress. How can we all practice self-care when changes we do not like–and did not want–come knocking on our doors?
Transitions can happen as a choice and vision, or they can be part of a circumstance beyond our control
People who hire a health coach like me often look for guidance in transforming their health habits. That’s an example of transition by choice or vision. People who lose a job, a child, or a relationship…these are circumstantial transitions that challenge our emotions and coping skills. Both types of transition deserve an extra helping of self-care at home.
There are personal habits and life skills we can use to face transitions with bravery
Bruce Feiler writes in his new book, Life is in the Transitions, that he’s identified “Five Truths of Transitions”. I recommend his book and paraphrase his findings here in relation to self-care.
- We’re all getting more exposure to transitions, so self-care needs to be an integrated part of each season of our life.
- The transitions we often face have multiple paths forward, or are nonlinear. Self-care that builds our strength during this zig-zag are helpful.
- Completing a transition, or moving from A to Z, often takes longer than we’d like it to. That process seems to be for our own good. Self-care here can look like self-compassion as we trust our process and choose not to give up.
- The transitions we face become part of our life story. The story of our lives are often passed onto others and as such, we can share and teach the self-care skills we’ve used to succeed.
- All lives include a series of transitions. Accepting this truth is key to being proactive and compassionate. Some transitions can be averted or magnified based on our preparedness and attitude.
What Kind of Self-Care Skills are Key for Transition Mastery?
People who deeply understand their values and their vision for the future find it easier to weather the storm of transition. What does self-care have to offer this kind of person?
- They make consistent time to write down thoughts, concerns, and achievements.
- A person such as this may sit in a quiet place to deeply breathe or meditate.
- People with this mastery often join a trusted loved one to talk about their values and vision.
- Self-care for them may look like quality sleep and relaxation habits.
- Future-oriented people often make self-care choices that build up their bodies instead of damage their bodies.
Helping Others in their Bid to Transition from A to Z
If you’ve always found it easy to make choices or reach important goals in your life, the self-care skills during change or transition may seem simple to you. Have you seen other people struggle in dramatic ways? Have you been able to reach out and help? Research shows that your help could be very important.
Jean Carragher and Jennifer McGaughey write about their research on the effects of peer mentoring on first-year undergraduate students. They found that peer mentoring as an intervention helps people move forward in their studies. This peer support helps the students transition because it gives them feelings of belonging, satisfaction, and engagement. It helps the students to stay the course and not give up.
The community of people within the Holland Health Coaching family have experimented with these Transition Truths and Peer Support ideas.
Community support for Prediabetes or other chronic illness can be transformative. I invite you to learn more about the ways that we use kindness and community engagement to help one another transition from Worry and High Blood Sugar to better health with peer support.