In her book, Life Without Ed, Jenni Schaefer suggests people prepare in advance for the transition into a new life without Ed (an eating disorder). And that by asking themselves questions that put themselves in that new mindset, they are actually putting fuel to the fire of their healing and recovery.
She suggests you consider:
- What would you like your life to be like without Ed?
- What will you use your newfound energy for?
- What will you spend your time doing?
Answering these questions will give you some concrete reasons to recover, and those reasons can help motivate you to make the necessary changes to your thoughts, behaviors and actions.
If you find yourself in a transition and you have NOT prepared by thinking ahead, transition can be very challenging—even when it’s a seemingly positive transformation. Positive transitions may include a new job or promotion, a new relationship or marriage, the birth of a child, starting school, moving into a new home, or celebrating with a child who is doing any of these things.
Some transitions represent deep loss—the loss of a loved one through death or separation; the loss of a job (which can also represent the loss of identity, status and financial security); losing your home; or the loss of health due to illness, aging, or an accident.
Here are some ways to navigate a transition in a healthy way:
- Acknowledge that you’re in a period of transition and be gentle with yourself. Practice good self-care in all areas—physically, by getting enough rest, consistent and moderate exercise and good nutrition; emotionally, by speaking openly about your feelings to someone you trust, and; mentally, by giving yourself adequate quiet time to reflect on what is going on in your life.
- Find the gifts in every transition. Don’t rush yourself to just “get over it.” You may learn new skills, gain insight and self-awareness, and tap into sources of strength you never knew you could access.
- Practice an attitude of gratitude and remember what you’ve got today. When you’re in a place of transition, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and to become laser-focused on whatever is challenging you the most. By consciously bringing your awareness to everything you have to be grateful for, you will instantly shift your mindset and attitude and find it easier to practice the first two steps.
If you need more inspiration to find the positive side of any situation, I highly recommend either of Jenni Schaefer’s books.