There are times in our lives when we need to adapt to a new situation. Losing a loved one, relocating to a new place, working in a new company, these are changes that lead us into a phase of transition. We haven’t got used to how things work in the new place or situation, but we’ve already left the old, ‘safe’ place where everything was so familiar and we knew exactly what to do and how.
During life’s transition, things may feel uncomfortable and we can get out of perspective due to the uncertainties it causes. Nevertheless, life goes on and we need to find ways to cope with it.
To manage this transitional phase well, these are a few tips:
Allow yourself to feel the Discomfort
It’s normal to feel somewhat restless or misaligned during this period of transition. After my birth mother had passed away, someone told me no one would be able to replace her. This expression turned out to bring me comfort. It had helped me to learn to accept things as they were. It was true. No one would ever be able to replace her. What’s gone is gone. So, I wasn’t supposed to carry on as if nothing had happened. On the contrary, I carried on knowing the fact that someone very close to me was no longer there and that things will be different.
Recognising how things have affected us is important. It is the only way to fully embrace the new situation while being truthful to our true selves.
Utilise or Develop a Support System
Staying connected to our support system or developing a new one will make our adaptation process easier or more bearable. We are social beings and no one is an island. It’s easy to feel isolated in a new, unfamiliar place or while we are dealing with emotional challenges after an unexpected event. It helps to realise that we’re not alone.
It may take time to find new friends while being far away from home where your friends and relatives live, but there are also online communities that allow us to talk to people with similar background.
Meanwhile, look for communities in your environment, such as church communities or a group of people from your country to start making real-life connection.
As we grow older, it may take time to make friends or find new people with whom we can truly connect. Just keep doing your best and try not to cling to your old friends.
By ‘being patient’, I don’t mean we should be passively waiting. We still need to do our homework, but accept the fact that things don’t happen instantly.
Learn and master new skills if it is what it takes to survive in your new workplace. Go the gym and do some workout if that’s what helps you feel better instead of staying in bed all day long feeling sad and miserable. Organise your stuff and decorate your new home to make it even better than the one you’ve left, and place those lovely photographs to keep the heartwarming memories alive.
Once you’ve done all your homework, give it some time until you can truly embrace your new life and enjoy it. Time heals. It also takes time to develop trust and mutual understanding in new relationships. So, don’t give up. Be patient