Building Resilience During a Major Life Transition

It’s been a little over a year since I moved back to the U.S. from Austria. I lived there as an ex-pat for six years, and had every intention of going back to Austria after my “vacation” home to the states last summer. But this was also in the midst of the COVID pandemic, a time where transitions were VERY popular and building resilience had become a mantra for many.

I made the decision to turn my temporary vacation into a permanent stay. I loved my life in Austria. It was an amazing experience. But spending time with family and friends while I was visiting the U.S. made me realize that it was time for another transition in my life, one that would teach me a lot about building resilience. It really put things in perspective for me.

A year later, here’s a recap of what it took to make this transition:

Building Resilience Means Leaning into It

I chose to move to Austria and I chose to move back to the U.S. But sometimes, building resilience isn’t by choice.

We build resilience especially when we make it a necessity – when we HAVE to. We’re facing health issues that make us change our eating or exercise habits. Or we lose a job and have to start searching for a new home. Or we have to move because of work or something else.

And while we might not like the situation (at first), we can build resilience by leaning into whatever cards we’ve been dealt.

We choose how we show up. We choose to get back up and take the next best action.

I knew that leaning into things was going to be key for my transition back home. I knew the value of building community, meeting people, and getting back into a schedule and routine. There were still a lot of learnings and growth, but I felt it was a little easier this time because I’d already taken these steps once before.

Building Resilience Means Learning from Past Experiences

Moving to Austria was a huge transition for me. I actually did a podcast episode where I talked about all the challenges and initial experiences of my move, from not having kale and quinoa to not understanding a bit of German.

And when I transitioned back to the United States, I felt more prepared for it not just because it was familiar territory, but because I remembered my experience from six years ago in moving to Austria. I had built resilience during that time, and it was like muscle memory coming back to the states.

Moving countries is a lot! Changing the way you live and work is a lot! I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was building resilience every step of the way.

My moving countries might your switching careers, or going through a breakup, or something else. We can always compare it to something similar in the past, something that was hard to overcome yet we overcame it anyway. And we can learn a lot from that.

How can you build resilience? Check out Episode #49 on Self Love and Sweat THE PODCAST for inspiration.