Transitions are hard for everybody. Moving, changing jobs, going to college… Transitions bring uncertainty, and uncertainty can bring a lot of worry and anxiety!
I recently went through a big transition and it definitely wasn’t easy. I had tension headaches, I couldn’t sleep well, and I was so overwhelmed I felt paralyzed at times. Doing simple tasks at my job took a Herculean effort. In the end, everything worked out and I learned plenty of lessons, but if I could go back and do it again, here are the top 6 things I’d focus on.
1. Talk About How You Feel
Psalm 73:5 says that there are certain burdens that are common. My transition was really hard for me, but when I talked to other people about it, they could relate and help me find comfort. It’s good to talk because then you can find out which feelings are normal and which are abnormal. You’ll probably find that most of what you feel is actually pretty normal.
2. Don’t Trust Yourself
Proverbs 3:5 tells us to have a healthy mistrust for ourselves. Don’t think you know it all—instead, be flexible. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to control the situations around you, but the reality is that you probably have no idea what you’re doing. So relax and try to go with the flow!
3. Trust Other People
Romans 1:12 describes how friends can mutually encourage each another. Don’t fall into the trap of being the only person who you trust enough to influence your life. Ask other people, trust their advice, and let go of the worry. The more you do that, the more you build trust and the more quickly you’ll relax.
4. Trust God
1 Peter 2:6 promises that anybody who trusts in God will never be disgraced. It’s easy for me to feel like God wants me to fail during transitions so I can be humbled or learn a lesson. This scripture promises that if you trust that God actually believes in you, you will succeed.
5. Pace Yourself
Exodus 19:12 warns about crossing boundaries that God has set. Transitions are busy, but don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you’re too busy to take care of your health. Running helps my anxiety as well as eating well. Don’t try to take on too much at once. Take things on in steps so you can keep yourself healthy.
6. Pray a Lot
1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6 describe prayer as the number one way to take down anxiety. I spent a few mornings praying until the anxiety went away. And whenever the anxiety came back, I would pray again. It wouldn’t always go away, but I eventually learned how to rely on God more deeply.