Regardless of what point you’re at in your life, picking up and moving to a new place can be a daunting task. Even if you’ve previously visited ten times and you have connections there, isolation, loneliness, and feeling lost or directionless might come up more than you would like. Having moved across the country to San Francisco less than six months ago, I’d like to maybe help some of y’all who might be nervous about moving soon or are currently struggling with the adjustment.
Don’t Be Afraid to Do Things By Yourself
This might seem like an unnecessary point to make, but even if you have connections near you, this doesn’t always mean that your schedules will line up. Take this opportunity to explore the city by yourself--find which local coffee shops you like to chill at, your favorite route to take runs on, or new paths to walk around everyday. Doing so will not only help you feel more at home, but also help you feel more independent.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
With that being said, you don’t have to navigate this journey on your own. Although it might seem inconvenient considering schedules and time zones, remember that your support systems are always there for you. Making the extra effort to plan a time to chat on the phone or FaceTime can make your experience much more tolerable, and potentially enjoyable.
Delve Into What You Love
Following your passions and finding meaning in what you do everyday is paramount to attaining happiness in your life. Joining that acting class, volunteering at that animal shelter, or picking up your camera and exploring an area to shoot might make the difference between having a fulfilling day and another mundane, lackluster day. Even if you work full-time, forcing yourself to take 20 minutes out of your day to do something for you will make the world of a difference.
On the same note, don’t allow the potential for judgement from others prevent you from pursuing something! You have the opportunity to meet incredible people who share the same interests and passions as you do. If some of the people you come into contact with judge you for whatever reason, their opinions are not worth your time, energy, or headspace.
Be Compassionate Towards Yourself
Once you move to a new place, you might be more overwhelmed than you initially expected. This feeling can be a result of a number of unknowns, such as finding which grocery store to go to, and sorting out how to spend your free time (and with whom). Despite how much time it will take you to establish a routine and familiarize yourself with the area, just remember to be patient with and kind to yourself. There is no appropriate timeframe in which you have to be settled into your new life. Figuring out your new routine takes time and experience, so if you’re still feeling out of place a little while after you moved, comparing yourself to other people and how much they’re “thriving” will only be detrimental to your psyche.
What inspired me to write about this topic wasn’t just the fact that most of my post-grad friends are struggling with this, but also because recently, I’ve been forming a closer relationship with my aunt. Being in her mid-sixties, moving back to New York City after decades of living in the suburbs, and having both her sons moved out with their partners, she has admitted to struggling with establishing a new routine and life for herself. Her honesty and vulnerability has allowed us to grow closer and support each other during this transitional period, despite our different ages and points in our lives.
Everyone’s experiences moving and adjusting to a new life are different, and what I’ve described might not resonate with you. Regardless, keeping these tips in mind throughout your life journey can be beneficial for achieving everyday happiness. Even if this post was just a friendly reminder for you or someone you care about, I hope it helped!
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