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The Summit Counseling Center
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Transitions

Megan Barfield

Freedom conceptThere are times in our lives when we feel as though we are in a period of transition, shifting from one place to another. Waiting for the movement of transitioning to cease and to be at a point where we feel content and comfortable can be a difficult process, though, when most transitions seem to be filled with challenges and ambiguity.

Imagine two large bodies of water, one being the chapter of life you were previously at and the other being your destination. The path from one large body of water to another can sometimes be connected by water channel, a flowing and narrow path. Ideally, we want our channel to be straight, making our transition shorter and less confusing. However, sometimes our channels are winding, meandering, and braided. In these channels, we may find ourselves frustrated with the indirect line of travel, the difficulties that come with twists and turns of the waters, and knowing that others may have taken a straighter channel to their destination. Change can be daunting, and transitions can be difficult, so it is important to both prepare for transitions and manage the stress and difficulties while in them.

  • Reflect on previous transitions in your life and how these strengthened or benefited you. What other channels have you been through that have had rougher waters or winded longer than you imagined? How did you manage these?
  • Prepare for your journey by packing everything you need to maintain self-care and manage any crises you encounter. This preparation means engaging your support network and identifying what you need to be healthy mentally, emotionally, and physically. Talk with your loved ones and your trusted mental health providers about your concerns, allowing them to help you paddle through the rough moments.
  • Identify your strengths that will benefit you through the channel and remind yourself of these throughout the transition. Resiliency, compassion, patience, kindness, determination, and drive are a short list of the strengths that can contribute to tough times of transitions.

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