I thought I would write about transitions today as there are so many changes happening for all of us lately.
I visualize life as a path that we are walking. I picture myself walking with a backpack of life on my back. It’s the same worn-out path that we know and somehow, it’s familiarity and certainty is nice but, it can also be boring, and we do things to change it up a bit like take breaks or vacations.
However sometimes, the path will be blocked, muddy or just plain gone. Suddenly we are left standing wondering where to go and what to do. It can even stop you dead in your tracks out of sheer feelings of overwhelm.
I witnessed it this week when I asked my husband a question after a big transition, and I saw him just stare. I knew he was stopped dead in his tracks and was thinking hard.
My response was to react quickly yet not know exactly where to go. I was the person who was walking in circles and looking around corners and questioning what to do next.
Both responses are ones that perhaps are our go-to’s. They are how we respond to pressures, and they were also our primitive responses. Dopamine had flooded our brains and centered itself right in the survival part of our brain.
I am glad for my husband’s thoughtfulness and his ability to slow me down. It helps me take a pause and look at the whole picture instead of only what is right in front of me. He likes my response because I kick into action right away and somehow, we balance each other out.
Both responses although quite different, left us without any energy and feeling drained. We were both in fight or flight in this case. Now, the dopamine that was transferred to the survival part of our brains was gone and we could use the intellectual part of our brains. We got through the transition but now, we needed to use some coping tools to slow down the heart rate, breathing and get blood moving to the frontal lobe of our brain.
We were exhausted but we could use our executive functioning to move forward and make plans. We had to build a bridge of sorts over the muddy area of our path and maybe even construct a new path that connects with our regular path. We had to dig into our backpacks and use the resources we had to get us through this part. Sometimes, those resources were the people that we trust the most in our lives.
After things were settled, we now had to use some self-care techniques to assist in filling our cups again so that we could resume our regular path again the next day and to remember that we now how to go over a bridge and use the new area of the path. It would feel a little cumbersome at the start but after a while, it too will become a routine in our day-to-day life.
I write all this to say, that you might be going through transitions in your life right now, much as we did at the start of COVID and perhaps are now going through as we are seeing a lessening of the threat and more changes coming. Know that you too have the brain skills to get back on your path. Sometimes, you might need others to help you manage those changes and to talk you through them, but you too are capable.
If you are in need of someone helping you on your path, please, don’t hesitant to call our team. We are happy to help and to become of the resources in your backpack of life.