Updated: Dec 17, 2020
The world is always in a state of change, but now more than ever the pace of change is unprecedented. As a result of COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, lives have been turned upside down and people across the globe are spending more time at home.
A mere 10 days ago, I was working with my Neat Little Nest team at a client’s home while my kids attended school and my husband was at work.
Fast forward to today and our routines have been upended in every way possible. My in-home client work has been put on hold while the new client pipeline has stopped filing for now. My kids will be learning online from home for the foreseeable future, soccer practices and tournaments have been cancelled, music lessons have moved to video chats. My husband now works from home and we cook all meals in our kitchen since restaurants have closed. Oh, and the cleaning, that has ramped up of course.
To say we’re in a state of transition is an understatement. COVID-19 has changed the course of how we are collectively going about our lives and it’s unclear how long this will go on. This unexpected and swift transition has left many of us feeling anxious and a little uneasy.
Despite the heightened awareness a crisis creates, it’s comforting to remember that we are in this together. While often filled with many emotions, transitions can bring about remarkably positive outcomes once they’ve run their course.
the stages of transition
I first learned about mindfully working through transitions while taking a leadership course based on a book by William Bridges called Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. In his book, Bridges shares his philosophy that each transition has three phases:
Ending/Losing/Letting Go - In this phase, people deal with tangible and intangible losses and mentally prepare to move on.
Neutral Zone - In this phase, psychological realignments and re-patterning takes place. It is a time when people are moving through the change. While there is confusion and anxiety, great ideas and innovation also happens during this phase.
New Beginning - In this phase, a new purpose or new identity is taking hold and changes will begin to take place.
You also learn from Bridges that you will go through each stage of transition at your own pace. Those more comfortable with change are more likely to move ahead to the “New Beginning” phase more quickly, while those less comfortable with change can linger at stages one or two.
Transitions come with all types of life events like a graduation, getting married or having a baby as well as divorce, death and loss of a job. Transitions come in all shapes and sizes and are individual to the person experiencing them.
uncertain times can increase mind clutter
It is no surprise that mind clutter can increase during times of great change and uncertainty, like we are experiencing with the forced rush of change from the COVID-19 pandemic. Using Bridges transition model, the pandemic almost immediately throws you into Endings and The Neutral Zone phases of transition.
Mind clutter has the power to trigger your fight or flight response releasing a flood of chemicals and hormones, like adrenaline, into your system. Continual mind clutter could put your body in perpetual fight or flight leading to chronic stress and a whole host of health problems, including lowering your immunity and leaving you susceptible to getting ill. Not something you’re probably looking for in the midst of a global pandemic.
ways to decrease mind clutter
While you will face many challenges during the global pandemic, there are many tools available to help boost feel good endorphins and calm nerves. Below are some Neat Little Nest recommendations to declutter your mind and in turn, elevate your mood.