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3 Tips to Master Transitions from A Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

Change is the only constant in life, as famously quoted by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus.

Change is inevitable. Whether that is something as small as a change in the coffee shop you usually go to, changing your route to work, or a more significant change such as moving to a new country, getting married, launching your big business idea, or reaching an important milestone. Periods of change can elicit a diverse spectrum of emotions and feelings, such as fear, anxiety, excitement, sadness, feeling overwhelmed- and the list goes on. Everybody experiences change differently.

Transitions are the most common reason individuals reach out for support in my role. They often discuss difficulty coping with a change or feeling like they lack the tools to navigate a transition period successfully. Transition periods can be challenging. They can be a time of uncertainty, loss of familiarity and control, but on the other hand, transitional times are a fantastic time to challenge ourselves, take on new opportunities, and utilize the skills that we possess. Instead of seeing change as a barrier, let’s use it as an opportunity or a stepping stone to reach the next level.

Here are three tips to help you navigate life’s changes and transition periods effectively.

Set Goals

We must reflect on our goals, values, and priorities in transition periods. During this time, it is essential to continue to remember your “why” – (your purpose, your mission, or the reason you keep going when you want to give up). Your “why” could be as simple as the ultimate reason you moved to a new city or reflecting on why a relationship ended or “was not good for you”. Keeping your “why” in mind during this transition period helps maintain focus, direction, and provides a sense of empowerment even if the situation feels “out of your control.” Some questions to consider for self-reflection include: what do you hope to achieve from this change? Why are you going through this transition period? Why is this change necessary for your long-term goals? Reflecting on these questions during a transition period can help alleviate potential anxiety and uncertainty by shifting your attention toward understanding the purpose behind this change.

Seek support

Don’t hesitate to seek assistance; you’d be surprised how many individuals refrain from contacting their support system for fear of being a “burden.” You have people around you who love and care about you and want to see you thrive through this transition period.
Who better than those who know you well to offer emotional support, valuable insights, and fresh perspectives? Whether that is your friends, family, or a professional therapist, having support is crucial. When seeking help during specific times, consider your needs. Are you looking for someone to vent to, emotional support, or are you hoping to learn specific techniques to deal with overwhelming emotions? Identifying the type of support you want can help identify the right people and resources to reach out to.

Practice self-care

We have all been there; we get into a new relationship and start eating out daily and working out less, or we move to a new city and are too nervous to resume our self-care routines. Self-care is crucial, and a transition period is not a time to stop your self-care routine or put it “on the back burner.” It’s the opposite. Self-care should continue, as self-care is the best way to navigate transition periods. Stopping self-care, especially during periods of stress, can cause increased anxiety, burnout, physical health issues, lower productivity/creativity, strain relationships, diminish self-esteem, and make the transition much trickier. Find something that works for you – this can be as simple as setting boundaries in difficult situations, practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in mindful movement of your body, and treating yourself to your favorite ice cream. You deserve it!

Navigating transitions can be challenging, particularly for women, as the number of life transitions is extensive and can often include a combination of environmental, physical, and hormonal changes, making navigating changes difficult.

However, one aspect we can manage in this process is how we respond to change and prepare ourselves with the tools we need to make it through difficult times. You deserve a fantastic life, and being aware of the tools you already possess is the first step in tackling these transitions head-on like a pro!

Connect with Priya and Willow Wellness


Priya Hippolyte, PMHNP-BC, is a dedicated and experienced Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner based in Massachusetts. She founded and owns a modern mental health practice Willow Wellness. As an entrepreneur in the healthcare field, Priya profoundly understands the challenges women face during significant life transitions. One of her passions is supporting women navigating these pivotal moments, creating a secure environment for managing change, coping with stressors, and addressing emotional needs. Priya’s core mission is to empower individuals to prioritize their mental health, ultimately enhancing their overall well-being.

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