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Transitioning In An Unsettling Time

Nancy Tepper March 2020

Transitions Kuel Category Expert: Nancy Tepper

I am a life coach and I specialize in helping people who are transitioning. Usually this transition is positive as I help people pivot to their “next chapter.”

Now we must focus on transition that isn’t positive and has been thrust into our lives. Transitioning and adjusting to this new world around us is scary as we see economies plummet, people become sick or die, and our lifestyles change radically.

Even if it is all temporary, the change is hard, and we are all living in a state of fear. Social distancing and quarantining are new firsts in a culture that is used to autonomy and togetherness. We are living in a world that is unfamiliar, scary, and sometimes lonely and frightening as we are faced with a virus that makes us feel unsafe. We have never experienced a pandemic like this in any of our lifetimes and it is unsettling to all of us!

“We have been fortunate to have had many choices in our lifetime.”

We have been fortunate to have had many choices in our lifetime and we all relish in those wonderful decisions that we have been able to make. It’s a luxury that we take for granted, but when we no longer have this ability, we realize how much we miss our optionality. With the spread of coronavirus, this has all changed. No one is untouched and we are left with uncertainty in regard to our health, wealth, and psychological well-being. We all can’t wait for normalcy or a “new normal” to resume, and this difficult transition into what awaits us feels daunting and overwhelming. We have to ask ourselves what our new lives at the end of this pandemic will look like; and how we will adjust to one of the biggest upsets to life that any of us have ever experienced? We have tremendous fear about our unknown future and our current health, and we wish we could all know when things will return to normal. This is a transition for all of us across the world. No one is spared from this.

So how do we transition in this climate of uncertainty? We need to try to stay hopeful and try to see the world upside “right” and not upside down. Our mental state and our ability to stay positive and hopeful will be so crucial to how we manage our stress. It would be impossible for me to suggest that we won’t have anxiety and fear and feel unsure, but living in that state all of the time will make things worse. Though it is hard given this environment, we need to recalibrate and find gratefulness and gratitude in the simple things and find positive things to focus on, even if we feel down or unwell. Gratitude will equip us with resilience in this difficult time, and we all need to be more resilient and develop coping skills. ‘Catastrophizing’ will not help any of us.

How can you do this?

First, appreciate the small things and focus on what you have and not what you don’t. The quarantine will make us all slow down and spend more time within our own nuclear families.

“Peace over panic. Faith over fear.”

In our hectic lives, we are so busy that we forget to reflect on what and who is important to us. Even though we don’t realize it, new bonds and community will be born even if they are virtual, or through extra phone time. We will remind ourselves of those more vulnerable and will find ways to help and support them. We all have been forced to transition to a new way of life and thinking for the time being. This transition can be easier if we continue to remember what we really need in life we already have: love, health, companionship, integrity, kindness, connections and hope. I am convinced that that we will get through this and we will have a stronger community based on human kindness and generosity. Peace over panic. Faith over fear.

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About the Author:

Nancy Tepper is a 54 year- old mother of three living in New York City and having fun in this next chapter. Nancy loves tennis, yoga, and is an avid reader. Nancy loves spending time with family and friends and loves to help people. She is currently a member of the Board and Executive Director of Stand Up! Girls which is a non-profit offering stand-up comedy classes to under-served girls in the five boroughs of New York City. Nancy is also a co-founder of MT Nesters podcast which offers valuable advice and inspiration to women who are empty nested and trying to pivot. Lastly, Nancy is a certified Life Coach and works with people who want to transition, or individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives