112. How to Use Transitions to Gain Momentum

by | Sep 8, 2022

Ever feel like you’re just cruising along in life and then, BAM! it’s time to transition and it totally feels like your life was turned on its head?

Transitions can knock us off our feet for days – and in the process we can end up floundering with our productivity.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. But there’s good news: you can actually use these transitions to build momentum instead of stalling out.

Whether that’s going back to school, changing seasons, moving to a new job or even a new state – there are ways we can pivot successfully. Join me as I share my tips to transition with ease on today’s show. Enjoy!

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Well, Hey, you guys welcome back to another week of the podcast. We are gonna be talking about transitions today and how to use them for your advantage. So I wanna give you a little sneak peek into my life before we dive into transitions. Just briefly here. I, I wanted to let you guys know. I am recording back to back episodes today, and I’ve done that a few times.

If you’re watching the video on YouTube today, you might notice I’m wearing the same shirt that I was wearing in last week’s episode. is because I just finished recording that episode. I don’t have a lot of clothes and I do that on purpose, but I am about a month ahead on recording these episodes and the way that I’m doing it is I’m batching them.

And that is helping out tremendously with just getting things done and staying on top of things. So I’m constantly giving myself little high fives and pats on the back for staying on my schedule. Which is much different than last time I did the podcast. It was last minute and it was very stressful. And I feel like I was keeping [00:01:00] things together on the outside,

you guys probably never knew that I was sliding into my chair sometimes on Monday afternoon for a show that was going live the next day, so I was keeping things together on the outside, but I was really stressed out and frazzled on the inside. And I want you to know I’m having so much more fun with things because that stress and that burnout that I was feeling before is not there like it was last time.

So it is the middle of August right now and my kids went back to school last week and I know all school schedules are a little bit different. So even if your kids have year round school, I’m guessing that the content of this podcast on transitions will be applicable in some way, shape, or form, no matter when you’re finding this episode or what season of life you’re in because the one constant that we do all have is change. Am I right?

I know for myself, it seems like as soon as you get a routine down things change. [00:02:00] I know when my kids were babies, as soon as I got them on a really good sleep schedule, they might start cutting teeth or they would move from two naps to one nap and we’d have to figure it all out again.

So there are actual seasons of life that create transitions for us, right. With summer break and going back to school and holidays and all of those things. But there are also seasons of life that create transitions as well with our kids moving out or kids going to school for the first time and transitioning away from the house for part of the day.

There are also bigger life transitions that we live through as well. With moves, I’ve done two international moves and those were a big deal. We moved to Japan and then Germany, and I guess back to the States, so maybe three international moves. I’ve transitioned with new babies and new jobs and deployments and even loss.

So all of those things can create kind of a bigger transition. Sometimes it feels a little bit lonely or isolating when we are the only ones experiencing a larger transition in life because of these [00:03:00] situations that other people aren’t living through. And I was just actually talking with one of my clients on email who had a move, a new baby and a new job all in three months.

Often we don’t like change because it’s uncertain or it’s different from the way things used to be. It might feel scary or it might even feel a little bit out of control because of the uncertainty, and the newness, the things that we haven’t experienced before and we’re living through currently.

Any way you slice it, there is going to be a shift. Even a shift with the schedule can feel like the week has turned on its head. No matter what kind of transitions we are living through, it always takes a little bit of time for the dust to settle.

Now, whether that is a week or a year or even several years, depending on what the transition is. I’m particularly thinking of a loss situation, a loss of a spouse or a loss of a child. Sometimes those things never feel settled again.

So what do you do? And some of these transitions, like I said, are gonna take some time with [00:04:00] a move or a new baby or a family situation. And some of ’em are seasonal changes, which are a little bit faster and there’s less physical and emotional adjustment that happens.

But generally speaking, you can always use transitions to your advantage, even if you’ve recently had a loss. Now, if you’ve recently had a loss, I don’t want you to feel like I am minimizing your pain in any way. I am speaking more to my current experience with my kids going back to school and how I’m using this transition to make some intentional pivots in my life.

I know after I have experienced loss in my life, I didn’t necessarily want to jump straight into thinking how this change in my life could possibly be happening for me. You want to take your time and as you’re ready, you can start to think about how you want to transition into a different life for yourself. But give yourself some time, offer yourself grace, you might need to reach out to a counselor if that is the type of experience that you’re [00:05:00] living through right now.

But I felt like this was the perfect time to do this episode again, because of my experience right now. I know many of you are also transitioning back to a new school year.

So, like I said, this is more along the lines of how I’m approaching this episode. I know some of you are happy about the transition back into school and getting back into a regular routine and maybe having some time to yourself during the day.

But if you’re like me, there also might be a little bit of sadness about the transition back into fall and back into the schedule. So I wanted to share with you some steps to help you transition a little bit better today in the, in the podcast.

Now, like I said, you can use this for a back to school transition, but you can use this information for a lot of other transitions that you might be living through currently.

So the first thing that I want to say, when we transition is you want to stop resisting. Some of us [00:06:00] don’t like change. You might have even said that before you might have been one of those people that have said, “I hate change.” I’ve had a few of my kids that have told me this. My oldest daughter does not like change. Yet it happens all of the time. So let me give you an example of how this came up when I was talking to my oldest daughter Lucy the other day.

So Lucy is a homebody. She’s amazing. She just turned 18 and she has been deciding where to go to college over the last year. And this was a really tough choice for her to make. She got accepted to multiple schools, but she gets homesick. And she gets homesick when she’s gone for a week, even now as an adult. She also has a great job that she loves, that pays really well that was hard to walk away from if she had moved outta state. So I’m all about stepping outside of your comfort zone, but I knew for Lucy moving away from home might push her past her discomfort zone and more into her terror zone.

So this is something that you [00:07:00] want to kind of navigate for yourself. As far as where you are at in a transition. Are you in a discomfort zone for yourself? Or are you in more of a terror zone? If you’re in a terror zone with a transition, how can you move yourself into a discomfort zone?

So what I mean by a terror zone is there’s things that get us outside of our comfort zone, right? Those things I think we’re familiar with where you feel this uncertainty about something, there might be some low levels of anxiety or maybe even stress or overwhelmed with something brand new. You don’t know people, you don’t know place, you don’t know transportation, you don’t know those kinds of things.

However, a terror zone for somebody is pushing past even that. So moving into a space where you feel overly anxious or overly overwhelmed or overly homesick, like those kinds of things where you’re just like, “listen, we can’t manage these emotions and do well at school,” for example, at the same time. So these are things that we were all kind of weighing together as a family to support [00:08:00] her.

So even though we weighed all of these options, she’s now kind of questioning or second guessing if she made the right choice. Because she’s got friends that are leaving and she’s wondering if she’s gonna make new friends, she’s wondering how all of this is going to work out in the next couple weeks and into this next semester.

One of the things that we were talking about is it’s totally okay to be sad. You want to, for sure, take a minute to feel your feelings. It’s always so important to feel your feelings. What keeps us feeling out of control is when we resist the change. When we tell ourselves things like, “things should be different,” or “I should be able to do this,” or “I’ll never get this,” or we spend a lot of our time pining for the way things used to be.

So as you’re moving into the school year, you might be like me thinking, “oh, I wish it was summertime.” Or ” I wish it was like last year where my kid had this teacher” or whatever it is, we spend a lot of time pining for the way things [00:09:00] used to be. Or maybe even thinking, “I’m not even sure if I made the right decision.”

So it’s good to remember that if things always stayed the same, there would be no growth. Right. We all grow up and grow out of our current situations. So with a new job, for example, it might have seemed like a really, really good idea at the time you made the decision until it’s actually time to move.

And that you’re in the process of moving and things feel crazy. And you wanna back peddle on that, right? Now it feels like there’s a lot of turmoil, there’s a lot of swirling energy that’s around that feels really uncomfortable.

I know there’s been times where my husband has started day one at a new base, working as a dentist and a new clinic. it feels like the first day of school all over again.

Well, I know when you’re in the thick of this transition and you’re actually living it, you want to take time to feel the jitters and feel the nerves and feel all the emotions that are coming up with that and focus on moving forward. So you can make room for both of those [00:10:00] things at the same time.

This is something that I’ve done all the time. I mean, even when I’m doing a webinar presentation or live masterclass, particularly to new students or new potential students, I feel really nervous. But I tell myself, “Hey, you can still feel nervous and show up and do a really good job. You can feel the nerves and still do amazing.” so it’s the same with any kind of transition that we’re making. Anything that feels kind of scary.

Another thing that I wanna remind you here of is your new life doesn’t need to look like your old life. In fact, it won’t. And that’s a good thing. Even moving into something as simple as a brand new school year, the new year might not look and feel like last year and that’s okay.

So if you find yourself avoiding your emotions by buffering through it all, when you’re trying to avoid feeling the discomfort, the jitters, or the nerves or whatever it is you might eat, you might watch too much TV, you might over social [00:11:00] media your life. If you find yourself in that situation, I want you asking yourself which emotions are you trying to avoid by buffering? You might feel anxious. You might feel overwhelmed. You might feel sad. You might feel out of control. And I want you to remind yourself, there is nothing wrong with whatever emotions that you are feeling. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad. There’s nothing wrong with feeling anxious.

This is life. One of the things that I like to ask myself when I’m feeling this way is, what if this is happening for me? One of the things that I’ve learned through all transitions of life,

and I’m talking about the easy ones to the really, really difficult ones, there will be new opportunities through this experience that will be amazing. And I know that that’s true.

Okay. The second thing that I wanna say here, as far as my tips go with [00:12:00] transitions is you want to intentionally look for opportunities to grow.

We get stuck in patterns and old ways of doing things and we end up oftentimes taking on too many things. So change allows us to create space to let go of what is not working.

So anytime there’s kind of an upheaval and upheaval to the schedule and upheaval to whatever it is, There is space to make changes. So all the moving around and changing things up gives us permission to intentionally make some needed changes.

So I know for some of you, with your current transition back to school, this might make things challenging. And we subconsciously slide back into this resistance mentality where we don’t want to change. We’re like, man, I wish it were summer all year round . And I know for myself, these are some of the things that I’ve been thinking.

So for me, moving from summer into the school year has brought up some resistance. I love the laid [00:13:00] back nature of summer, particularly as a homeschool mom. When I am the one who’s in charge of doing their school, that means there’s more things that I need to be doing to stay engaged, of course, with their education.

And those are things that I’ve taken on, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not a difficult transition for me to add that back into my life when September hits. So I’ve got two kids right now who are less independent.

So Thomas, my oldest is almost 20. In fact, he’ll be 20 by the time this episode airs and he is living his best life in Portugal right now. He is not someone that I’m currently worried about all the time as far as what is happening on the day to day. Lucy eats and sleeps here, but is a hundred percent self-sufficient in all the other ways.

But Isaac is a sophomore and he has a spring birthday, so he can’t drive himself around until May. And he is a busy boy. He has a lot of things going on this year and we have made some decisions to support him and some of the activities that he wants to [00:14:00] take on.

So I kind of feel like, because we’ve made these decisions I, of course, was called to be the part-time, on call chauffeur for my son. And I’ve kind of joked about it, but there is this element of just like, Oh, man, not gonna lie.

Cause he is out the door for early morning seminary at our church, which starts at 6:20. And then he goes to high school that is close to our house. It’s kind of close by to where the church is, but there is no bus access for him. So I need to wait at the church in order to take him where he needs to go after there aren’t any kids currently at the church who go to the same school that he does, and he has this split schedule.

So sometimes he has three hours between classes and he wants to come home to get things done and to eat a healthy lunch and to practice the piano. Which is okay, because school is just five minutes from my house. And then after school, he plays soccer and he works and he still does TaeKwonDo and piano.

So there are some things that I need to be hyper aware of on my schedule [00:15:00] about what he’s doing so that I am there to pick him up and take him where he needs to go. Now, this is all a conscious choice. This is unintentional choice that I’m making to support him this year, but I haven’t done this since my son, Thomas was a freshman and his schedule was similar to this.

So now that his schedule is tightly interwoven with mine, it means that I am committing to be there for him. I am thinking about this as, how can I use this opportunity for me? As I’m moving forward into this year, I need to get really good at saying no, again, I feel like there are little habits that slowly start to creep back in as I’m less aware or less conscious about my time and all of those things.

So I’m really good at saying no again. I’m working on simplifying my life. I’m working on getting really creative with how I can combine certain things together so that I can use my time really wisely. [00:16:00] So for example, while I wait at the church for him, I write. In fact, I wrote this podcast, the content for this podcast episode this morning, while I was waiting for him at the church.

I’ve also realized it’s really important for me to focus on my bedtime so I can get up and I can have my sacred morning time, which is one of the most important things that I do during my day, before heading out the door with him. Because once I’m there at the church, I wanna be really focused,

I wanna be really centered on that one thing that I have planned to get done in that hour of time. And I can’t do that if I’m not grounded myself. So that means I have to start the night before, you probably remember me saying this before in previous podcast episodes. My day starts the night before, so I need to be really, really diligent about getting to bed on time so that 5:30 alarm does not feel like a slog.

Okay. So that kind of brings me to my third point. And that is to change your attitude. Oftentimes, when we transition, I’ve been [00:17:00] guilty of this. Even over the last few weeks, I have been complaining about things. I work out with a really dear friend of mine in the morning, and she’s heard all about how much I’m going to be driving my son around.

If you’re transitioning into a season of your life that is not ideal for you. Maybe it’s not exactly what it is that you wanted. You’ve got two options. You can take the easy, yet painful, road of complaining and focusing on how things stink. Or you can take the higher, more peaceful, yet harder, road of changing your attitude about it.

So I have to admit, like I said, this transition into this year with knowing how much Isaac wanted to be involved in all of the things and having my husband deployed at the same time, at least for the next couple of months, and spending so much of my time in the car, I grumbled about it a little bit. I noticed that I was doing this. So I made the decision that I was going to make the best of it. Particularly focusing in on all of that extra time that I get to have with my son. He is so fun and I love him and I [00:18:00] get to spend that time with him in the car. And I know how fast the next three years are gonna go. And so I’m really, really grateful for that. And I just remember the time that I had with Thomas and all the time that I spent with him in the car.

And that was just fun. All of my kids. But once Thomas got his driver’s license, then he took Lucy around. So I didn’t have that time with her in the car, but Lucy and I spend time in other ways.

So We are often unwillingly adding more stress to our lives because we have a bad attitude about things. We just don’t want to. Which is just a thought and one that we can easily change.

So before I was focusing in on how much time I was gonna spend in the car. I was resisting all that time. I didn’t wanna give up my time to be in the car. But what changed was I wanted to spend that time with Isaac. I get to be in the car with Isaac and I get to find out how his day has gone and what he’s looking forward to.

And like I said, I just know how fast the next couple years are gonna fly by and I’m really grateful that I have this time with him before he’s off [00:19:00] and doing his own thing which is gonna be here before I know it.

All right. The fourth tip that I have is you want to use your transitions to your advantage.

So, like I said, not only do I get to spend time with my son, but I have an hour, a whole hour in the morning of uninterrupted writing time that I’m going to use. Now, I usually write in the morning, but I write at my house, which gives me ample opportunities to get distracted here. Right. So when I’m at the church, It’s me in this quiet room with whatever I choose to bring in there with me.

I don’t have a computer. I don’t have my phone. I don’t have any laundry or other things at home that distract me. When Thomas was a freshman, I used that wait time to work out in the gym that they have in the church. And I met some friends there and we had a really good time. It was slightly awkward to have high school seniors walking through the gym when we were all in Savasana or Happy Baby pose at the end of our yoga practice. But I got over it.[00:20:00]

All right now, the last tip that I wanna say here is how can you double down on your self-care? Don’t misunderstand me, when I say double down, I’m not necessarily meaning double the amount of time you’re spending on your self-care, but what I mean is to be more intentional and more strategic during times of transition. So sometimes this is hard to detect that we need to double down on something, because particularly in transitions, we have a tendency to just continue to plow forward with our life. And that of course is going to add to feelings of stress and feelings of overwhelm, we might have a hard time focusing on things. And I know for me, I can start to get a little achy. Like my back hurts. I get headaches. My body is saying, “Hey, listen up, take care of me!” And so when I start feeling like that, I start thinking about, okay, how can I be a little bit more intentional right now during this time?

[00:21:00] Okay. So let me give you an example of this. This is something that I recently did. In the evenings throughout the summer. I have been sitting in my infrared sauna. I got my sauna in May, so this is kind of a new, a newer thing to my self care routine. While I’m sitting there in this little cocoon of my sauna, I am listening to podcasts or audio books.

Now I do have to say if you know anything about infrared sauna, I just want you guys to know my phone is outside of my sauna. I don’t bring it inside of that with me. So I turn the volume up so that I can hear it while I’m inside of my sauna, but I’m listening to something. But I was noticing recently at the end of my day, I was feeling a little bit anxious about the transition.

I was feeling a little bit anxious about this school year and so last night before I crawled into my sauna, I was thinking, okay, what do I wanna listen to? And it just felt, I just felt a lot of friction in making that decision.

And so I just kind of clued into myself and I’m like, you know what? I actually don’t wanna listen to anything. I just wanna sit [00:22:00] and meditate in my little hot box and I call it my hot box because it gets really hot in there. And my friend told me not to call it a hot box. She said that her husband thought I was smoking pot in my car when I said, yeah, I’m gonna spend a little time in my hot box tonight.

I’m not doing that. I don’t smoke pot . That is something that, I thought was kind of funny. But I just decided last night that I was gonna sit in silence and just focus in on my breath and do an evening meditation while I was in my sauna. And it felt amazing. It was a time that I just really decreased the stimulation that I was experiencing in life.

And I think as moms, there’s a lot of times during the day that we just have a lot of things coming at us. Right? And I think. Even with our best intentions to improve ourselves by listening to a, a podcast or even something entertaining or, something uplifting it’s still extra noise. And it’s something that is stimulating our nervous system because we’re listening and we’re having to pay attention and we’re [00:23:00] having to use our brain for those things.

So you want to make sure that whatever self-care things that you’re doing during this time are nourishing. They’re nourishing for you instead of just another box to check. I felt like, “oh, I should sit in my sauna and I listen to this thing” and I’m like, “no, actually I want to sit in my sauna and I want there to be nothing happening. I just wanna sit there.” And it felt amazing because it was a choice. It was a conscious choice. One of the other things that has helped me is to pick things that are grounding for my self care.

So things like a grounding yoga practice, for example, and there are specific asanas or poses that I can choose to do that help ground my energy and help me stay centered within my myself.

Warm foods like soups or root vegetables like potatoes, those kinds of things help me to feel more grounded and help to take my nervous system down. I also [00:24:00] sleep with the weighted blanket and I take slow walks at night while it is still warm and light enough for me to go out. Transitions can feel kind of scatter-brained and unfocused, but doing these types of activities, ones that help us to ground and stay centered can have a really soothing effect on our nervous systems.

So I want you to remember that you have plenty of time, even within a transition, just keep reminding yourself about that. Sometimes it takes a little planning and mindfulness to minimize distractions and to get centered, but you can do it..

So, if you want to join me inside The Burnout Breakthrough, the doors are open right now and they will not be open for long. So if you are interested in joining me, I’ve done lots of podcasts about how to minimize stress and burnout in your life, if you wanna join me for this six week course, I highly, highly recommend it.

You can head over to janeenalley.com to either join me or to find out more information about it. You can also email me or send me a direct message on Instagram and [00:25:00] I will answer whatever questions that you have about the course.

This is the perfect place to be if you want to cut back on stress, if you want to feel better, if you want to become more peacefully productive in your life. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve been on both sides of the fence. If you missed episode #105, all about my story. I share it over there.

On that episode, I talk about how I went from surviving my life and drowning and overwhelm and all the things that go along with that, to feeling so much better and showing up the way that I wanted to. It has truly affected everything else in my life, from my relationships, my sex life, my health, even the way that I eat and the way that I take care of myself.

And of course in the way that I get things done. I am able to enjoy my life so much more because of the things that I’m sharing inside of this class. And that’s exactly what I want for you. So if you wanna join me, head over to janeenalley.com and all of the information will be over there on a [00:26:00] sales page and you can join me. The class starts on Monday, and I hope to see you there.

All right my friends. That is all that I have for this week. I hope you have a beautiful rest of your week and we’ll talk to you guys soon. Take care. Bye

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