Prioritizing Yourself During Life Transitions
Written By Elizabeth Uliana, MUSC Dietetic Intern; Reviewed by Emily Gargis MS RD LD
The game of life throws many scenarios our way, whether they have been expected for a long while (such as a transition from high school to college) or seem to come out of nowhere (perhaps a job change or last-minute move). It is easy to lose sight of what is important to us personally during these times, yet keeping in touch with mind and body is critical to ensuring smooth transitions.
Next are several ideas to help you make a habit of checking in with your mental and physical health. Remember – these are suggestions, not requirements. It is up to you to decide what will be most helpful and refreshing. Self-care looks different for everyone.
- Practice intuitive eating. Learn more about the 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating, and remind yourself that eating is meant to be a pleasurable experience as well as a source of nourishment for your body. A positive relationship with food will reduce stress in the midst of change.
- Prioritize good sleep. Experiment with consistent times for when to call it a night and when to wake up in the morning. Check in with your body during the day to confirm you are getting enough quality sleep at night. If you struggle with falling asleep or have restless sleep, you may want to talk to your doctor for recommendations.
- Quit the comparison game. Your body is your own. Your career is your own. Your life is your own. Comparing yourself with others is not the answer and will usually dampen your motivation to be the best that you can be. People love you because you are you and no one else.
- Get together with a good friend. Staying socially connected with people you love and trust is vital to your happiness. Set aside at least one time each week for spending time with someone you love in whichever way you and that person can most enjoy one another.
- Do something fun for yourself. You might grab a bouquet of flowers the next time you go to the store. Maybe you visit your favorite coffee shop. Perhaps you allow yourself time to go to a movie with friends, get a massage, give yourself a manicure, or simply sit outside and take in some fresh air. You deserve a break. Taking time to smile and laugh is good for both your mental and physical health.
Life changes can be challenging. In fact, they usually are challenging. Staying in touch with your mind and body will ease these difficulties. It may not guarantee a perfect transition, but that is okay. It takes time to adjust to change. By keeping focused on what is most important to you – whether it’s your emotions, how you feel physically, or your relationships with family and friends – you will get through this. In the end, caring for yourself throughout the journey will help you to come out the other side as a better you.