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  • Writer's pictureChalita Antommarchi, PsyD

Managing Life Transitions

Life transitions involve changes in our lives that include new roles, responsibilities, and routines that we must take on. Some people can adapt to these new situations with ease and little disruption while others may struggle with the changes that occur.


Some examples of life transitions include:

  • Reaching a milestone in your age

  • Having a child

  • Moving to a new area

  • Starting a new career/changing career paths

  • Going to college

  • grief/loss

  • Health changes

The reality is that life transitions can be hard. They challenge us in unexpected ways and force us to move outside of our comfort zones. Regardless of if these changes are positive or negative, they can have a profound impact.

Life transitions can be challenging to us because:

  • It changes our normal routine. We have to learn new things which may disrupt our typical day-to-day operations. This can appear intimidating and/or stressful.

  • It requires new expectations with new roles and responsibilities we must learn. This can increase feelings of anxiety about not knowing what needs to be done or how to manage these new tasks.

  • When we transition to something new, we are leaving something else behind. Something ends and we likely feel a sense of loss.

Whether the transition is starting the first day of college or becoming a first time parent, there are many ways people can learn to care for themselves kindly and compassionately to better cope with these changes. Finding which coping mechanisms work best for you can help make these new changes more manageable. Here are some skills that can potentially be helpful before or during a life transition.

  • Self-care: exercise, meditation, sleep, diet, listening to music, drawing

  • Journaling: writing down and understanding your thoughts and emotions

  • Positive self-talk: reminding yourself to be patient as you learn to adapt to these new changes and celebrate progress

  • Plan ahead: structure your new routine for a smoother transition

  • Seek support: talk to friends, family, or community resources

Remember that no one skill fits every person or scenario. If you experience significant distress in anticipation of or during a life transition, you may want to seek out a qualified mental health professional to provide additional support. 

Chalita Antommarchi, PsyD

About the Author: 

Chalita Antommarchi is a registered Psychological Associate (#94027857) in the state of California. Dr. Antommarchi enjoys working with a variety of issues including trauma, anxiety, life transitions, adjustment concerns, interpersonal relationships and communication, identity development, LGBTQI+ concerns, grief and loss, spiritual concerns, and whole person care.

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