Transitioning into a New YOU
Think of a field. A farmer ploughs the field every year with the same seeds. The location of the field and the dirt in the field remain the same, yet those plants grow differently each time. They change in texture and taste. They change in size and shape. Natural shifts in the sun, rain, cold, and warmth form the seeds differently year after year.
Our lives are similar to those seeds. With every change, new chapter, and transition, we become a slightly different version of ourselves. We still have the same likes and dislikes, and the same family and loved ones around us. But through a conscious or unconscious – planned or unplanned – change that occurs, a new YOU emerges.
Sometimes we are forced into a transition – one we do not want to experience. We might kick and scream and panic. Other times we are excited by this new change, just like first-time parents in anticipation of their newborn. And other times we go into it prepared. We research, we plan, we organise.
No matter the reason for the change, be aware of the transformation it will have on you. Here are ways to embrace the new YOU to the fullest.
First things first: Acknowledge your transition
Take a step back and mindfully create a daily routine during this new planned or unplanned stage in life. A routine will help you maintain a semblance of order. From meeting your basic needs to caring for your children, organise your day in a way that is manageable. Incorporate a few of your favourite things, such as running, eating a vegetarian diet, or starting your day with a cup of tea. This small piece of order during a major life transition can both clear your mind and eliminate some of the chaos around you.
Prioritise what matters most
As change takes place, you may feel overwhelmed and lost. Growing into the new YOU can be daunting and scary. Remember to prioritise what is most important to you! Ask yourself which areas in your life you would like to get back on track. If you are relocating, this may involve getting your family settled and locating immediate resources for your needs. If you are a new parent, you may need to prioritise a bit of alone time to recharge. Keep your top priorities to a minimum at first, not expecting more of yourself than you have mental and physical stamina for.
Work through the emotional changes
No matter how exciting or sad this change is, there is always the loss of the before. The emotions of transitioning are very similar to the emotions of grief or loss. Strong emotions of denial, anger, guilt, depression, and even loneliness can take hold. This is normal! Acknowledge these feelings so you are better able to work through them. Ignoring them will only prolong your transition. There is no set time of how long it may take you to accept your new life. Take it one day at a time, regularly checking in with yourself to reassess your feelings.
What will this new YOU look like in this new environment? Do you want to ‘copy-paste’ your former routine and activities? Or are there new projects, hobbies, and activities you want to venture into? Take time to envision what that new routine would look like, where you want to spend your time, and what the new YOU looks like. Set short-term and medium-term goals to work toward those changes.
Thrive with the new YOU
Now think of that field again. The farmer does everything he or she can to provide for the seeds that are planted. Each one uses the nutrients, light, and care to evolve into something slightly different each year. Just like you use the circumstances, outcomes, and changes around you to evolve into something different with each transition. Understand that some changes are good and some are hard. Some will happen quickly and some will take years. But each of them helps you embrace the ever-evolving YOU.