2020 has shown up as a year of turbulence and transition. The only global lockdown in our lifetime called for extraordinary changes in our everyday behaviors: wearing masks, physically distancing and switching to technology for learning, services and business. Beyond everyday transitions, 2020 has also triggered numerous job transitions – voluntary and unvoluntary.

All major life transitions are physically and emotionally taxing and job transitions are no exception. Stress levels rise putting our capacity to maintain mental and physical well-being at risk. To survive and thrive, we need “trans-ilience”.

“Tran-silience” is not only about bouncing back after change, but about our capacity to successfully ride through the numerous waves of transition.

Whether out of work or looking to switch jobs due to uncertainty, new priorities, age or other life changes, job transitions have been proven to create:

  • Major social stress: income, standing, wealth, family life, social connections.
  • More stress-related illnesses: high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, heart disease, arthritis.
  • More depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, demoralization, worry.
  • More hospital admissions.
  • Musculo-skeletal problems.
  • Lower sense of self, helplessness, confusion.
  • Numerous health problems if needs are ignored with the sole life focus on finding a job.

While better mental and physical health have been proven to improve job-transition outcomes.

Neuroscience tells us that the purpose of our brain is to “budget” our energy to keep us alive and well. Our brains cannot differentiate between mental and physical withdrawals. So, to our brains, mental withdrawals such as fear, worry and anxiety or physical withdrawals such as working long hours, poor sleep or diet are all withdrawals from the same system. With too many withdrawals and not enough deposits, our “body budget” – termed by neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett – becomes unbalanced resulting in low energy, fatigue, stress, anxiety, decreased resilience and emotional overwhelm – the same negative outcomes often experienced through job transition. Our bodies and minds influence each other, so to ensure the healthiest mind possible, we need to begin by taking care of our bodies.

The most important starting point for trans-ilience is to restore and maintain body budget through healthy diet, exercise and adequate sleep, along with a mindful emotional alignment.

Start your trans-ilience resolution with four A’s:

  • Assess your current situation in the areas of Nutrition, Activity, Sleep and Mindfulness with your free Self-Care Workbook here.
  • Apply tips from workbook at your own pace according to your assessment and priorities.
  • Align and track your progress with the workbook tools.
  • Ask for help if you feel stuck or if negative emotions get in your way. And if this last “A” resonates strongly with you, here’s a useful approach for processing your negative emotional experience without judgment. Let it RAIN:

R: Recognize what is happening. What is true or untrue about the thought?

A: Acknowledge and allow life to be just as it is. What feeling or thought are you aware is present?

I: Investigate with kindness. What is happening inside of you and what do you need?

N: Non-identification. Acknowledge that the thought or emotion does not define you. 

Finally, don’t forget to say THANK YOU. Gratitude research shows it’s the single most powerful method of increasing happiness and well-being. Maybe we should all be grateful for our rapidly changing world to uncover how agile we can really be – at any age. 2021 is the ideal opportunity to discover your most empowered “trans-ilient self”.

Thank you for your thoughts!