Transition Aids: Little Things that Help Make the Big Change Happen

I quit drinking tea in 2014 once I realized I was having too much of it.

I first replaced it with milk, then replaced milk with water and later started having coffee on occasions where I used to have tea.

I figured that I used milk as a transition aid, which helped me go through the phase when I went from being a tea drinker to someone who did not have it.

It was not very different from having a friend or family help sail us through difficult choices or times. Instead of a person, milk became the ‘thing’ an aid to help quit tea.

We can use such aids even when we are trying to get into new routines or change habits.

For the past several months, I had been going to bed late, well past midnight. I wanted to change this.

I know gradual transitions work best in such situations, like sleeping 5-10 minutes earlier than the previous night, night after night, until we reach a time we like. But then going from sleeping at 4, 5 or 7 am in the morning to 9 or 10 pm at night would have taken ages so I tried going to sleeping 10/11 am straight.

It is tough because the body takes time to adjust to such changes.

One solution is to toss and turn and wait until you fall asleep. I can live through that but do not find it very efficient. That is why I tried something new. I thought about a transition aid I could use as I tried to adjust to my new sleep routine. Instead of waiting for hours for sleep to knock me out I tried to make the best use of time while it happens.

I chose meditation as my transition aid because it is something one can do without switching the light on and without needing any other devices or tools except you. You just need to get up and sit in your bed to start. And when you meditate in dark you feel sleepy so it works well. It is still early days but seems to be working.

Can you think of an area of life where you used a transition aid?