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From Surviving to Thriving: Embracing Life’s Transitions After Trauma

A woman hunched over, hands over head in despair over transitions happening in her life

“A lot of people resist transition and therefore never allow themselves to enjoy who they are.

Embrace the change, no matter what it is; once you do, you can learn about the new world you're in and take advantage of it.”

Nikki Giovanni

My partner and I are currently going through a big life transition. After being in a relationship for seven years, we are moving in together in a few weeks.

Transitions affect people differently but there's no doubt that moving is very stressful and is actually ranked second to losing a loved one.

My partner is moving into my space, leaving the house that has been his home for over 20 years.

He will be losing his beautiful quiet haven in the mountains to live in the hustle and bustle of the city. He will also be leaving the home he shared with his ex-wife and in which he raised his only child. Even though he is excited about the move, the transition will be stressful and can also be traumatic for him.

On the other hand, I will be losing the sanctuary that I've cultivated for nearly three years. Like most people, I am a creature of habit and I love my morning routines and quiet time so there's no doubt that it'll take time for me to adjust to this new setup.

Overall we are both extremely excited by this life transition. (As I type, He is in the background putting up shelves and unpacking boxes in preparation for the big move).

Many of my clients do not have an exciting transition but are juggling life transitions after a traumatic experience. This included losing a job, having to move out of their home due to unexpected rental increases, the end of a long-term relationship, and even the loss of a parent.

Recovering from a trauma situation can be a challenging and complex process, but with time, support, and self-care, it is possible to transition from surviving to thriving.

Here are some steps that have helped my clients:

1. Build a support network: Surround yourself with supportive and understanding people who can provide emotional support. This can include friends, family, support groups, or online communities. Sharing your experiences and feelings with others who have gone through similar situations can be incredibly helpful.

2. Practice self-care: Prioritise self-care activities that promote your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This can include regular exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, engaging in hobbies or activities you enjoy, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.

3. Set boundaries: Be honest with those around you - state your limitations and ask for your needs clearly without projection.

4. Challenge negative thoughts: Trauma can often lead to negative thinking patterns and beliefs about oneself and the world. Work on identifying and challenging these negative thoughts, replacing them with more positive and realistic ones.

5. Engage in self-reflection: Take time to reflect on your experiences and how they have shaped you. Journaling or talking about your experience in therapy can help you gain insight into your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, allowing you to better understand yourself and your journey toward healing.

6. Practice self-compassion: Be kind and patient with yourself throughout the healing process. Understand that healing takes time and that setbacks are normal. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a loved one going through a difficult time.

7. Set goals and take small steps: Set realistic goals for yourself and break them down into smaller, manageable steps. Celebrate each small achievement along the way, as this will help build confidence and motivation.

8. Engage in activities that bring you joy: Find activities that bring you joy and make you feel alive. This can be anything from pursuing a hobby, volunteering, gardening, or engaging in creative outlets. Engaging in activities that bring you happiness can help you reconnect with yourself and find a sense of purpose.

8. Practice gratitude: Cultivate a gratitude practice by regularly acknowledging and appreciating the positive aspects of your life. This can help shift your focus from the trauma to the present moment and the things you are grateful for.

Remember, healing from a traumatic experience is a unique and individual journey. Be patient with yourself and do not be afraid to seek professional help if needed.

With time and the right support, it is possible to transition from surviving to thriving.

Join me for my next live online, Living a Courageous Life - A Reflection on 2023

Lots of hugs until next time.

Faith xoxo

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