There is only one constant in life and that is change or transitions. Transitions can be scary and something that many people, particularly anxious ones try to avoid. That is probably why I am getting this blog done just under the gun as I’ve been avoiding it not wanting to think about the coming fall after a nice summer.
However, even I have to prepare for the upcoming changes as they will come whether I want them to or not. The fall marks an obvious time of transition. For athletes they may be moving from off season to in season or the reverse. That means new types of training, maybe starting to compete against a new level of competition, or new relationships with coaches and teammates. Students are obviously back to learning, back to homework, and back to the grind. Finally there are the general clinical psychology clients. Many of these really see spikes in anxiety and will do anything possible to avoid change and just keep things the same.
Despite the differences in demands and stressors, essentially everyone in each of these groups needs to find ways to manage anxiety and push through the transition. Below is a list of general ways to accomplish this goal in no particular order.
1. You have to start by embracing the transition and accepting it. It is going to happen no matter what so you as well accept this fact. Going towards what makes you anxious always makes it easier to cope with in the long run.
2. Try to identify potential stressors or challenges that you may within this transitions. Remind yourself it is okay to be scared or nervous as it will make you sharper and ready to problem solve.
3. Look back at similar transitions and how you pushed through in the past, asking yourself how do these situations relate and can I apply past lessons learned to the new situation.
4. Tap into your strengths and skills and apply them to the new situations. Put into practice what you already know.
5. Take a learning mindset and remind yourself that positive growth comes with each transition.
6. As the transition begins to unfold start to organize yourself and put together a new routine.
7. Lean on others for supports and see who has done this type of transition before and can you use their experience to your benefit.
8. Use positive self talk and remind yourself that you have faced adversity and change in the past and made it through it.
9. Remind yourself to enjoy the process. You never know there may be a new positive that you have not thought of that could happen.
10. Use creativity and think outside the box, being willing to adapt and change lanes in the moment.
This is just a short list of things that can help anyone manage a transition regardless of who they are or what they face. We recommend starting small, but try applying these lessons as you transition into the fall. Like every other skill they will take practice, but in time you will be a transition professional.