Transition Time Between Situations

Prepare to mentally shift from one situation to another

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Sometimes moving from one space to another can be pretty overwhelming. Leaving work at the end of the day, finishing up a stressful situation, or coming home from a trip can cause us to carry unwanted feelings from one place to the next. Practicing “transition time” can help us mentally prepare to shift situations so we can enter the new space with a fresh outlook. 

Practicing transition time can help you:

  • Shake off the stress of a situation so it doesn’t bleed into your next activity;
  • Practice the art of “clocking out” so you can be fully present in your next situation;
  • Get in the habit of fully engaging in routines, roles, or tasks.

Tips for transitioning from one situation to another:

1. Set a time to “clock out” or leave the space you are in.

  • Setting a time is a great way to start to establish boundaries for yourself. Boundaries can prevent you from overworking, which in turn can promote self-care. 
  • Being consistent can be helpful, but sometimes it’s difficult to schedule your day down to the minute. Allow yourself to be flexible each day.

2. Give yourself time to reflect on the space you’re leaving.

  • For example, before leaving work at the end of the day (whether you work outside of your home or inside), reflect on the day, what you accomplished, and take a moment to note that it’s ending. Prepare yourself to leave mentally. 
  • Reflecting on the situation you’re leaving helps your brain start to transition so you can focus on the rest of your day.
  • Use reflection when leaving a stressful situation, getting out of bed, or any other change in your day. 

3. Create a small routine to do in between different situations or environments.

  • This can be a breathing activity, stretches, or listening to a favorite song. 
  • When combined with reflection, a small routine can help your brain realize it’s time to transition and gear up for the next situation. It’s similar to how taking a shower or eating breakfast is a routine that can mentally prepare you for your day.  
  • Keep the routine simple, but feel free to get creative!

4. Give yourself time to acknowledge the space you’re entering.

  • In the same way you reflected on leaving an environment, reflect on the space you’re going to so your mind can fully transition.
  • Think about what you are about to do. How do you want to operate in that space? What do you intend to get out of the time in this new space?
  • This helps you not only fully leave feelings from the past situation behind, but it also helps you become more present for the moments ahead.