Finding time to nourish yourself through your transitions is a time management skill that will stand you in good stead, no matter what changes and challenges life presents. And it’s helpful to remember that your transitions also are affected by and have an impact on the lives of those around you.
It can be difficult to stay connected and nurture relationships when much of your energy is being used to cope with the changes you are experiencing. However, it is important, and well worth the effort, to keep the people close to you involved and informed as you navigate life transitions.
What kinds of changes are we talking about here? Well, what constitutes a transition will vary from individual to individual. But some universally experienced transitions would include things like a death or illness, moving to a new city, changing jobs, the loss (or beginning) of a relationship, etc. There are also developmental transitions that we all experience as we age, and we adjust to the changes that that process brings.
Time is really a constantly-flowing river of transitions. So, here are some things to consider, as you strive to nourish yourself and stay connected with your friends and family through ANY kind of life change:
- Ask them what they see as important about the event. Be sure to encourage each person in your circle to state what he or she thinks will be important during this life transition. What are the anticipated gains and losses? Do people have fears about what lies ahead? Are there things that they are excited about? This gives everyone a good sense of the emotional terrain you’re traveling together.
- Allow each person making this life journey with you to be clear about what he or she expects to need from you.
- As you plan for finding the time you need to nourish yourself, be as clear and sensitive as you can about each person’s feelings, needs, and the unavoidable changes each will need to make. This doesn’t mean that you need to ‘take care of’ everyone’s needs – but acknowledging those needs directly and validating their importance is a key component in staying connected.
For those of you who live alone, it is equally important to include your support system in your planning. Problem solving together creates a sense of teamwork and coordinates efforts. This will ease the transition for everyone concerned.
Remember that this is a dynamic process over time. Keep the lines of communication open and stay connected with each other to ensure that original decisions are still working. Be flexible and encourage everyone to be open to adjusting plans as the transition evolves.© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.