Dealing with Stress in Times of Transition

Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with a group of ladies and mentors from the Women In Transition organization. This group of women have served time in prison and are in various stages of probation, rehab, or moving toward mainstreaming into the work-force and society. Their individual commitments to their own success and recovery was moving and inspirational.

Before our yoga practice we had a conversation regarding worry and stress management during transitional seasons in our lives.
Here are the four steps to dealing with stress during times of transition, I call it BSBB.

1. Breathe. Yes, just take a time out to take a deep inhale from your core. Not the kind of breath like you’re going to hyperventilate but a slow, deep inhale and a full, complete exhale. Bring your awareness to your breath and you will begin to create a little space for whatever you need.
2. Stop beating yourself up. The past is the past. You can make it right to the best of your ability and resolve to do things differently for today. If you’re not ready to make things right, then work within yourself to bring peace to your own mind, body, and spirit.
3. Build. Build your self-confidence. Build your self-esteem. Build your communication skills. Build whatever it is you need to present your best self to your family and your community. If you don’t know where to start, then start small and identify something you are good at. Whatever your situation, be it family relationships, work, or anything else on your mind, resolve to do the best job you can for today.
4. Be gentle with yourself. We are gentle with everyone around us but often so very hard on ourselves. When you are going through a time of transition things are changing. Sometimes painfully slowly and sometimes they are spinning out of control. Remember to take good care of yourself. Eat nutritious foods, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.

One of my favorite thoughts, and one I share often with my classes goes like this: Be gentle with yourself for you are a child of this universe. No less than the trees, and the stars and the mountains and the oceans, you are a child of this universe. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. (Max Ehrmann)
When we invite peace and good into our lives during transitional times we will begin to be mindful of the positive people and things in our lives; allowing us to move forward with freedom and grace.

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