June 1st was “National Say Something Nice” Day: a good way to start an article for our June Newsletter.
Later in the month, I am reminded by the calendar to celebrate “Old Maids”, “Call Your Doctor” and “Insurance Awareness” Days, all of which make me feel old. Likewise, “Strawberry Rhubarb Pie”, “Cream Soda” and “Black Cow” Days make me think of my late father, who loved all of those old-fashioned foods. Yet, I am happy to recognize “Make Life Beautiful” and “Daylight Appreciation” Days, along with “Best Friend” and “SummersGiving” Days. And I could go on, with National “Waffle Iron”, “Pen Pal”, “Drive-In Movie”, and “Chocolate Ice Cream” Days…all of which bring me warm feelings, reminders of my youth.
The odd variety of celebration days this month triggers for me a set of mixed feelings. I remember summers as a little kid in the mid-west. My mom would make strawberry rhubarb pie and my dad would smile from ear to ear with delight. On the way home from the beach, my family would stop for a black cow drink at the drive-in. On Saturday evenings, we would look forward to popcorn and chocolate ice cream at the drive-in movie theater while watching a double feature. And then, on Sunday mornings, our family tradition was to enjoy crisp waffles with lots of syrup. How did the June National Day designators know our family so well?
June feels like a month of nostalgia, and, therefore, a month of transition. As I muse about days long-gone, I am made aware that the days are getting longer—hence, “Day Light Appreciation Day”. Noting the transition to health, June includes “Cancer Survivor Day”, and in a funny challenge to transition, June 3rd is designated as “National Repeat Day”—acknowledging that sometimes transitions can be rough and we sometimes must repeat a step or a phase as we move from one place to the next.
With the goal of moving forward and making a successful transition, let me offer a few tips, as I “Say Something Nice” about transition. Given the thoughts above about aging, I will use the transition of “getting older”, or more concretely, retirement, as the basis of my tips. However, most of the tips are applicable to many types of transitions, whether they be related to a job, a relationship or moving.
1. Explore what this TRANSITION means to you. This exploration will likely include what society “says” about the transition. For instance, as you think about retirement, what does it mean to you to not work? Do you feel like you are not contributing, that you have no purpose? Do you feel that there is a stigma related to your new role in life? How you, and society, feel about this new role will have a huge bearing on how well you transition to this new place.
2. Discover the OPPORTUNITIES. This is particularly important if you find yourself with some pretty strong, negative feelings or facing a powerful stigma. With every transition, there are opportunities; it may take a while to uncover them, however. You may have the opportunity to learn, meet new people, or restructure your life to achieve some forgotten goals. With your eye on the opportunities, the negative feelings can melt into the background.
3. Articulate your LOSSES. The flip side of opportunity is the perception of loss. Without acknowledging your losses, you will too easily fall prey to paralysis or self-sabotage. Will you miss old friends, lose status, or potentially struggle with the lack of structure? With every transition, even those that we excitedly embrace, we lose something. While those loses might be insignificant, it is always a positive step to acknowledge what they are.
4. Assess your RESOURCES. Once you start on the path and know where you want to go, see the light ahead in terms of opportunities, and are ready to let go of your losses, you still need tools to move forward. What resources do you need and which do you already own. For instance, do you have a support system of people that you can check-in with along the way? Do you possess stress management skills to help you through those rough spots that are filled with uncertainty? What other skills might you need: assessment, flexibility? What relevant experience do you have?
During this month of “SummersGiving”, we can give ourselves the gift of support. Whether this is the month that you decide to retire, move into a senior living community, leave a bad marriage, or make a commitment to make some new friends, you will likely need some help in making this transition. Counseling services at JFS Orlando can be just the assistance you need to move through to the other side. You will gain skills as well as enjoy the support.
It’s easy to “Say Something Nice” about JFS’s Counseling Services. You, too, will have something nice to say as you take advantage of the benefits offered to you. We will be your partner as you transition—not just this month, but each and every month of the year.
Call 407-644-7671 to schedule an appointment today! Medicare, Medicaid and almost all commercial insurances are accepted. In addition, we’re one of the few remaining agencies in Central Florida that operates on a sliding fee scale (as low as $55 per session) for those who do not have insurance or have an insurance we do not accept.
Eloise Stiglitz, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist. Eloise received her Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology from Purdue University. While her professional identity has always been as a psychologist, she has spent many years in higher education as a counselor, administrator and faculty. After she retired as Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students from a major university, she returned to her roots as a practicing psychologist.
Her passion is helping people through challenging transitions, whether it includes a crisis like a divorce, death, move or career shift, or a personal evolution centered around sexuality, spirituality or disability. She works with seniors, helping them through their difficult times, young adults creating their sense of self, as well as all those in between struggling with the many life challenges that we all face. Her specialties include women’s issues, depression and anxiety, substance abuse and addictions, sexuality, grief and relationship concerns.
Eloise believes that the therapy relationship is a powerful healing tool, empowering people to make the desired changes in their lives. Her eclectic therapy style integrates cognitive-behavior, Neuro-linguistic programming, and solution-oriented interventions with a relational-developmental, client-centered perspective. More importantly, she connects with her clients through intensive and caring listening, truly open-hearted support and a delightful sense of humor.