The Three Phases Of Life Transitions - Deepstash

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Feeling Stuck? Five Tips for Managing Life Transitions

The Three Phases Of Life Transitions

The Three Phases Of Life Transitions

In the face of a crisis, we feel chaotic and out of control. The transition comes in three phases:

  1. The Long Goodbye, in which we see our old self go.
  2. The Messy Middle, where we shed our old habits and embrace new ones.
  3. The New Beginning, where we take a ‘rebirth’.

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Transition is difficult
Transition is difficult

Transition, even the completely voluntary, can be a source of intense suffering because it involves adapting to new situations and changing your self-conception.

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Transition, as an in-between state

Transition is also called liminality by psychologists - a state where you are neither in the state you left nor entirely in your new state. This in-between state creates an identity crisis, even in good transitions.

But they are really a predictable and integral part of life and happen regularly. Author Bruce Feiler interviewed hundreds of people and found that a major life change happens, on average, every 12 to 18 months. Even huge collective transitions such as the pandemic occur with regularity.

In retrospect, most transitions are seen as positive

In hindsight, even the unwanted transitions are usually seen to have been a success.

Research shows that we tend to see past events as net positives over time. Even the most challenging transitions have some positive fruit. It may just take some time to see it.

Restarting the economy
Restarting the economy

The economy shut down almost overnight. But reopening it will not happen the same way. It may take months and possibly years to fully open, even under the most optimistic estimates.

Implementation is complicated

The proposed three-phase plan will allow many businesses to open in the first phase.

Schools and daycare centers can open in the next phase. But that means millions of working parents could be asked to return to their jobs before they have someone to take care of their children.

Partial reopening

In the early phases of reopening, businesses could be required to operate at a reduced capacity.

Offices might operate in rotating shifts, but other businesses could have a harder time. Restaurants may have tight profit margins even in better times. Operating at half capacity may mean working at a loss.

The new virus

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The symptoms

Common symptoms: coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Non-respiratory symptoms (feeling nauseous, vomiting having diarrhea) were also reported.
The virus is more violent with the elderly, the very young and with individuals that have a weak immune system. The majority of those infected however recover after a few days.

Spreading the virus

Coughs or sneezes from an infected person are the most likely to spread the virus. So it's essential to follow basic hygiene rules:

  • Wash your hand often during the day.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your inner elbow or a napkin.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.
  • Stay inside if you have any of the symptoms and avoid interacting with people that show signs of the infection as well.