Coping with life transitions and PCS season


Coping with life transitions and PCS season

by Jennifer Brown
Stripes Okinawa

Editor’s note: At Stripes Okinawa, we love to share your stories and share this space with our community members. Here is an article written by Jennifer Brown, a hospital corpsman at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. If you have a story or photos to share, let us know at

To be successful in the military, good coping skills are a must. This is especially true when it comes to picking up and moving to new areas every few years. PCS can be a challenging feat but here are few tips on how to cope: reach out to your community, become grounded in a hobby or passion and continue to communicate with your loved ones.

Whether you are taking on the stress of moving to a new duty station, a different country, or retirement back home, the transition can be tough to handle. The bittersweet part about this process is that we as military members have to endure this process over and over throughout our careers. It often feels as though once we’ve finally settled into our new command, it is once again time to move to another.

Reaching out to the community around you is a great way to help with the transition. Look for different events, activities or groups at your local base or surrounding community. Finding connections, meeting people you can relate to and enjoy being around will help immensely with creating positive experiences in your new life.

Another way to help with the transition is to dedicate some time to a hobby or passion. There are so many possibilities depending on your interests and many groups on social media if you want more information on where you can take part in these hobbies with others. The great thing about this option is that even if you cannot find anything locally, there are many ways to participate virtually, such as virtual 5K runs and virtual community groups that host their own events online.

And though it might take some time to do the first two as you’re getting acclimated to your new temporary home, connecting with friends and family can help you feel supported. This may be as simple as sending a text to a loved one, or even video calling to stay connected. Staying in touch may provide us support as well as a place to vent about our struggles we are facing. This also may be a form of distraction for us, so we can take a break from thinking about stressors.

Whatever you are facing right now, taking the time to stay connected to your values may be the point in the right direction you need. Life transitions are difficult, but we can take steps to improve our situation by finding things to get involved in that fuel our passions, connections, and desires.

Jennifer Brown is a hospital corpsman at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa. Originally from Florida, she joined the Navy in 2018 and has been on the island for over a year. During her free time, Brown enjoys spending time with animals, running, rock climbing, and hiking. She is an alumnus of the University of Central Florida and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Her professional interests include social work, animal welfare, and children.

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