This is a time of year when a number of transitions take place: graduations, end of the structure of the school year, the start of a less structured summer, perhaps a new job. Transitions, while necessary, can be stressful. Here are some tips for navigating a transition:
- Recall your past successes: When have you successfully navigated a transition? What was the transition, how long did it take, how did you cope? At what point did you realize that you had successfully completed the transition? Were you able to notice the baby steps toward successful resolution?
- Structure: what type of structure can you put in place? Sometimes parents set a few time-related expectations into a summer schedule (up by 8 am, breakfast by 9 am, etc.). Other parents use task-based expectations (by the time I return from work, you will have completed 4 chores, including …)
- Scheduling: are there regular events that you can add to your schedule for stability? A weekly date with friends? A Skype call with remote friends? An exercise class (ahem…more than one, please!)?
- In general, how do you handle the stress of transitions? What do you need to feel balanced again?
- Ask for help. Ask others how they are coping with transitions, and what they recommend to facilitate success. Ask others to help with tasks as you manage the stress of the transition.
- Be patient with yourself and others during the transition.
- Celebrate successes. We actually handle transitions pretty frequently. Seasons pass, days lengthen and shorten, trees leaf out and leaves drop. We transition in how we exercise, what we eat, and preferred sleep schedules. You have navigated all of those, likely without celebration. Consider celebrating those instances when you make a successful transition.
You can do this. You have survived other transitions, and with a positive attitude, structure, and support, you can navigate the transitions this summer, too.