Transitions: The Biggest Source of Stress


Ever notice when we move from one activity to the next is often where we rush the most? Getting from point A to point B can be stressful. What if there’s a point A ½ that we didn’t quite plan for?

I think it’s safe to say that it is during our transitions that we see frustration and anger surface as well … when we hit traffic on the way from home to work; standing on line waiting for, well, anything; rushing from one meeting to the next …

When you schedule your day, do you leave time for these transitions? There are some great apps and programs that actually plan for your drive time (iCalendar is one of them,) to let you know when you should leave. But our transitions are not commonly penciled into our schedules. And if you do actually account for them, do you leave enough time? If running late raises your anxiety levels, (it’s one of the top things that stresses me out …) then leaving extra time is important to avoid the extra stress.

Take Note

Pay attention to when you get stressed out, and whether those times are during events in your day—or between them, as you are in transition. You may be surprised by your catalysts.

Simple Practice

For today’s practice, take a look at your calendar and schedule your transitions: i.e., if you have to be at the doctor’s office at 9, and it takes 20 minutes, clearly put on your calendar when you will leave, ala: “Leave for Doctor” at 8:40.

Or 8:30, which brings me to the next tip …

Consider creating bigger cushions and leaving yourself extra time between activities or events in your day. Leave 10 minutes earlier than you normally would. Plan to arrive at that meeting 2 or 5 minutes before everyone else.

This way—if you hit a roadblock—it won’t faze you. And if you get there early? Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.

Melissa Eisler

Melissa Eisler is an ICF Certified Leadership and Executive Coach, certified meditation and yoga instructor, and author. She created Mindful Minutes to offer practical, relatable anecdotes and tips on how to bring mindfulness into the busyness of the digital age. Her intention is to share what she learns about overcoming her own challenges with meditation, mindfulness, and life balance while maintaining a challenging schedule and career. Learn more about Melissa here.


  1. MegRed on May 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Love this! I’ve been trying to reduce the stress of my transitions lately and I really like the increased cushion. Feels so obvious yet I clearly missed it.

    • Melissa Eisler on May 14, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      Glad it helped you transition through your day!

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