Transitions are hard – be gentle with yourself

Arms hugging a heartThere’s something about the week after Labour Day that feels like a new beginning, even though I haven’t been in school for years. And if you are a teacher or have children, it can mean a really significant change in your daily routine.

In addition to these kinds of big changes, every day is full of smaller transitions. The ones that can be most challenging are those that involve coming together with other people after you’ve been apart.

At these times, each person is full of their own thoughts and feelings and it can take time to connect and attune to one another.

People tell me that these are the moments when arguments are most likely to arise, especially if someone is hungry or tired or feeling emotionally stressed from the events of the day.

Successfully navigating daily transitions

Many clients have told me that they’ve found it helpful to have a “rule” not to talk about anything serious until after supper.

I love that idea because I can remember the magical transition that happened as children after we ate one of my mother’s delicious meals – the gales of laughter that went around the dinner table.

Choosing what to say first

Something else that John and I have found helpful to smooth these times of coming together is to begin by talking about things that we appreciate.

“What are you appreciating in this moment?”

We take turns answering this question.

Then we stay silent for a bit, savouring the feelings of gratitude before moving on to anything else.

This works well in organizations too!

Other Tips for Transitions

Be gentle with yourself. Recognize that transitions take a lot of physical, mental, and emotional energy to navigate.

Lighten your load as much as you can. Accept help and take things off your plate for now.

So you can be compassionately present with yourself and those you care about.

Which creates a positive cycle that strengthens your relationships and makes all seasons of life smoother and easier for everyone.

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