If you’re anything like me, transition comes with a side of emotion. Difficult transition, emotions. Normal transition, emotions. Good, exciting transition, almost too much emotion to handle.
It’s difficult to focus—and not necessarily for bad reasons. Change is exciting. Sometimes, you’re so excited about a change that you want to capture the feeling and make it last. And beneath that relief or excitement can be underlying anxiety: you’re not sure what’s next.
When facing transition, try these three journaling steps:
Step one: Get it out on the page.
Whatever is circling around in your head, give it a voice. Take the thoughts, feelings, and ideas in the forefront of your mind and write them down as they are, no editing necessary. It might be helpful to set a timer: don’t let yourself stop writing for five minutes. Capture the raw, unprocessed nature of it all. Don’t judge yourself, even if you write the same sentence over and over again. Just get it out. You might find that you think more clearly when the repeat track is out of you and on paper.
Ask yourself, What’s the track in my head?
Step two: Take a moment to focus on the present.
After you clear your head, take some time to be with yourself. Sit with yourself in the feelings of the moment.
Answer the following prompts:
- Where are you? Describe your environment.
- What do you feel in your body in this moment? Where is there lightness? Where are you holding tension? What feels relaxed?
Step three: Reflect
Transitions are prime time to reflect because they are the crux of old and new. As we march on in our lives, journaling provides a space for us to learn from where we’ve traveled and create a new future.
Choose a few of the following prompts:
- What’s something true about you that will still be true tomorrow? Write about something that feels important.
- What are you, personally, welcoming into your life?
- What are you, personally, saying goodbye to?
- How will the larger world (your family, community, country) be different going forward?
- What are you celebrating? Are you grieving anything?
- What are three things that has and will stay the same through this transition?
- What do you want to focus on, moving forward?
Bonus step: Share
Lastly, life is more meaningful when shared. Don’t let your insight only live in your own head. Reflect on what you’d like to tell another person and bring it outside of yourself.
- What’s one thing you’d like to share with someone about this transition?
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