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Trust the next chapter because you know the author….

Transitions can be difficult and opening a new chapter may seem daunting but is never impossible to do. When transitioning to a new chapter in life, we may find ourselves doubting our abilities even more than usual due to the stress of the major life change. Chapters in life can come in many ways whether its unexpected, welcomed, or unwelcomed, chosen or imposed, sudden or gradual. Individuals who experience life transitions can expect increased levels of Cortisol which can be linked to emotional and physical ailments.


Below are some examples of life transitions:

  • Marriage or a new relationship

  • Arrival of a new baby

  • Parenting an infant, child, or adolescent

  • Growing up and moving away from home

  • Adjustment to college or the workplace

  • Empty nesting

  • Divorce, separation, or recovery from infidelity

  • Retirement, job loss, or career changes

  • Financial gain or loss

  • Serious illness or disability of self or a loved one

  • Issues of aging

  • Death of a loved one or animal

  • Questioning faith or spirituality

  • Questioning sexual or gender identity

  • Deployment Reintegration

  • Exiting Active-Duty Service

  • Graduating from school

  • Retirement

Keys to handling life transitions:


· Expect to have an adjustment period. You can always look back and reflect on when you may have had a change that went well. How did you handle that change and what got you through that difficult time?

· Practice self-compassion and focus on the positive aspects. What brought you to this change or transition in your life? Are you making a career change that will positively impact you for the rest of your life? Will your family be able to spend more time with you due to cutting back your work hours? Look at the hopeful signs for this transition and embrace them!

· Expect emotional growth and setbacks. At times, you may feel multiple emotions or feel on edge. Provide yourself with grace and time to heal or move forward. There is never a right or wrong answer for how fast or slow growth should take.

· Seek support. During this time in your life, you may need support more than ever! Reach out to those around you who lift you up or bring you happiness.

· Establish realistic expectations and timelines. As mentioned above, there is never a right or wrong timeline for when you come to terms with your transition. Honor your body and mind.

· Creating an effective self-care plan. Engage in multiple forms of self-care such as eating wholesome/nutritional foods, getting enough rest, and engaging in physical activity. I always tell my clients that self-care should not be hard and should not feel like a burden. Participate in something that makes you feel like the best version of you!

· Practice stress management techniques. You can practice deep abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation. Mindfulness can be incredibly helpful when reducing stress, Depression and Anxiety.

· You may experience increased fear and anxiety. Fear is normal and natural. You may feel anxiety which influences fear. Anxiety is adaptive and is critical for survival (i.e., fight or flight). Become aware of when your anxiety no longer becomes helpful and notice when you start to participate in avoidance. You do not have to seek change in that moment but honor why you are so anxious or what your body may be responding too.


Thoughts from the therapist


If I am being 100% transparent and allowing you to see behind the curtain (which is the whole purpose of this blog) is that I, myself, the writer of this blog am going through a transition as well. A wise colleague and fellow therapist told me to provide myself with grace especially when I make mistakes, which are prone to happen. Yup, I said it MISTAKES.


If you are anything like me, just that 1 word sparked your inner dialogue to change; which might be fueled by your anxiety or maybe even fears stemming around your major transition.

How often do you provide yourself with grace and self-compassion when moving through life’s different seasons? Why is practicing self-compassion so incredibly hard? Self-compassion also includes an element of wisdom—recognition of our common humanity. This means accepting the fact that, along with everyone else on the planet, we are flawed and imperfect individuals. There is no pressure to know absolutely everything in life and honestly, the most beautiful thing about life is the ability to grow and learn through transitions: small or large.


Something I found that was useful was the phrase, “treat yourself like you would a small child”. If there is anything you take away from this blog, let it be this one line. If a small child were having difficulty with change or a transition, how would you respond? Would you speak in a softer tone? Provide them with space to process? Hug them or give them comfort?





Now ask yourself, what is stopping you from providing yourself with the same compassion?










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