Transitions bring up a pile of emotions to most of us. Experiencing a new and exciting phase in life comes with feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and loneliness. It’s amazing how our emotions make the transition experience more challenging for us. This season of change comes over and over again. Embracing the beauty of transitions and making conscious efforts to create a balance amidst its complexities is vital.
Let me share with you my personal experience of a life transition. Together, let’s normalize this experience of emotional complexity in times of change because there’s nothing wrong with us feeling this way anyway.
2019 when I took that leap of faith to follow my yearning for change, growth, and learning. The moment I came back here, I felt so excited and I had this increased motivation to pursue graduate studies in Psychology and practice as a Psychometrician. I left my comfortable job in Thailand with the mindset that my decision will be the stepping stone for better opportunities. But as I started what was supposed to be the beginning of the best years of my life, there I felt
less confident with myself, and feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and loneliness came in with me. It was indeed a rough transition. However, through time, I was able to adjust to the life transition I am in and slowly I see myself continue to thrive as significant transitions come in over and over again including the countless lockdowns and quarantines because of COVID-19, online learning, bigger academic, and work responsibilities. And here we are, slowly getting back to what was normal prior to COVID. Indeed, we will always encounter these life transitions at no particular time. The entire experience made me realize how the complexity of our emotions would drive us and it’s only “us” who have the skill to manage and pull off whatever life transition comes our way.
What did I do? I mindfully practice R.E.S.T. (Recognize, Establish, Seek and Trust) R.E.S.T is something that is doable in times of transition. First is R, Recognize your emotions. Humans as we are, we know for a fact that our emotions are complex and that no one feels only one emotion at once, especially during a life transition. If you feel not confident and anxious, know that there is nothing wrong with you feeling that way. Remember, every emotion gives us a message. It will help us know that every emotion is valid and its natural that you are emotionally coping with a season of change or life transition. Learning to recognize your emotions will make you feel calmer and relaxed as you do the E – Establish routines. In every transition, you will be navigating the newness of everything such as your work dynamics, academic demands, etc. Thus, it is important for us to establish routines to develop a sense of consistency. For instance, diligently make a list of your to-do’s, do time management, and later on evaluate.
Through this, it will serve as your guide as you adjust to the transition. Next is to Seek support. When I was in the middle of that life transition, I thought that I can get through it by myself but right there and then I also realized that even mental health professionals need help too. Seeking support and reaching out to people isn’t something that makes us weak rather it makes us stronger. With seeking support and reaching out it develops a sense of togetherness which can really help us get through any season of change. Lastly, Trust the process. Transitions are challenging, and doubts and anxiety are kicking in but remember to keep going and trust the process. As someone who is a believer in “Beautiful things take time”, it doesn’t happen in a snap, it takes its time and so I took mine.
And that’s how I’ve learned to manage life transitions through the help of R.E.S.T. I just embraced the experience I encountered with transitions, little did I know, blessings are coming in – passed my Comprehensive Exam, earned a Masters Degree in Psychology, celebrated my 3rd work anniversary with TDCI, and received opportunities. These are just my living manifestations of how much we can do if we are aware of what we can do and make conscious efforts in dealing with life transitions. Of course, all these wouldn’t be possible without TDCI’s unwavering support for the professional growth of their employees.
So to everyone in the TDCI Community, dear students, as you go through another life transition may you be reminded to practice R.E.S.T. Life transitions are experienced best when you practice R.E.S.T and of course please do rest. Always recognize your emotions and their complexities. Embrace the experience of change and find that sweet spot in you to create a balance in everything amidst the season of change. Our journey towards re-finding our purpose comes through a life transition, a transition that serves as an opportunity for us to grow and flourish.
If you think you are at the point of not knowing what to do, seek help and reach out to us your Guidance Service and Testing Center (GSTC) Mental Health advocates. We are always here to serve you with love and with bliss.
Maria Dayanara Bianca D. Grecia, RPm, MPsych