Sinclaire Sparkman: How to treat the stress of a transition

Sinclaire Sparkman • Updated Jun 14, 2018 at 1:00 PM

There’s nothing quite like a transition to get us thinking about what all could be. This time of year marks a new season for many, and not just because the weather gets warmer. 

Perhaps it’s a move, a change of address. Perhaps it’s earning a new degree and a whole new world of possibility. Perhaps it’s finding out there will soon be a baby born. Perhaps it’s a promotion or a new job. No matter what the transition, change tests us and stretches us, and it’s not always easy to adapt. In fact, it’s easy during these times to stress out and lose focus on what’s important. 

For me, stress leads me to overanalyze trivial things, or start thinking in black and white. Things that aren’t really that tough to deal with, like an overflowing trashcan or sending a confirmation email, start to seem nearly impossible in the face of all that is demanded. Piling on a big list of tasks is the nature of transition, but things will eventually settle. Focus on finding a rhythm, and don’t panic every time there’s another unfamiliar curve ball. You can’t hit them all out of the park. Just focus on what you can do, and do it well.  

We can start to feel responsible for everything, or like every little mistake means that we’re doomed to fail. Take a deep breath and realize, each time you start something new there is a learning curve. You’re allowed to make mistakes. As long as you learn from them, your new boss or equally stressed out spouse should understand.  

Also, when things change, they usually don’t ever go back to the way they were before. Things will never be the same again, but that doesn’t mean things won’t ever be good again. Be willing to bend and adapt, otherwise, things probably won’t be good for a long time.  

A helpful frame of mind during a time of transition is to accept that new things come with unfamiliar trials, and things don’t always happen as expected. The best things often shift over time, not immediately, and a good way to succeed is to review what works and what fails. Go with what works and leave the rest in the past. 

No matter what kind of transition is upon you, take heart in knowing that the turmoil is only temporary. Eventually, life will settle out again, and though it may not look the same, it’s possible that it could be even better.  

Sinclaire Sparkman is The Democrat’s news editor. Email her at ssparkman@lebanondemocrat.com and follow her on Twitter @wilsoncoreports.

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