Struggling post-move? Hate your new town? We have five tips to help you cope.
It’s not as uncommon as you think. In all the excitement of moving to a new city, the prospect of a better job, a brand new home and a brand new start…what happens if moving across country turns out to be the worst decision you’ve ever made?
There are countless reasons why moving to a new place might not be as great as you anticipated. Sometimes, it’s a feeling of homesickness and regret over the loss of local friends. Other times, it’s the financial strain of moving an entire household. For still others, it might be that moving really was a mistake, but it’s too late to do anything about it.
No matter what your situation, there are ways to cope. Although it might take a few months (or even years) before you start to feel truly settled, these tips can help you feel more accepting of your current situation
> Start at Home: No matter what else happens, you need a place where you feel comfortable and safe. Fixing up a house to feel like a home is a process that takes some people years, so start small. Take one thing you dislike about the house and fix it. Take down the wallpaper and replace it with a cheerful coat of paint. Hang your favorite pictures and paintings. Get a fish or a houseplant to brighten things up. These small steps might not change your situation, but they can add a touch of something personal to make you feel more at home.
> Explore Your Surroundings: Back at your old home, you probably had a list of places you loved. Restaurants, shops, bars, parks…you spent years getting to know each one and deciding which ones were your favorites. It takes time to discover local sights, but it also takes an exploratory spirit. Even though you might not feel like going out, try to visit one new location every week. You might not love them all, but you could also find a few hidden gems.
> Set a Date: Give yourself a set time period in which to adjust. It takes most people at least two years before they feel truly settled, but you can set smaller deadlines to help you cope. One month to find a great coffee place. Six months to make a new friend. One year to get the house settled. Two years before you give up altogether and move back home. By setting firm dates, you can feel confident that you at least gave the experience a try.
> Make Friends: For many people, it’s the loss of friends, family members, and built-in support systems that makes moving so hard—especially if you moved for a spouse who has work to keep him/her busy. Making friends as an adult is difficult, but it’s the one thing that can transform your moving experience unlike anything else.
> Change Your Attitude: It’s not what most people want to hear, but your acceptance of your new home might have nothing to do with your situation and everything to do with your attitude. You have every right to feel disappointed or full of regret, of course, but these feelings aren’t healthy to hold onto over the long-term. If you can’t find ways to improve your outlook on your own, it’s perfectly acceptable (and often advisable) to seek professional counseling.
You can also move again. Although not everyone has the opportunity or money to pack up and redefine their lives every few months, nothing in this world is permanent. As soon as the opportunity arises, find a way to move to a new city—just make sure you spend some time there first so you know what you’re getting into!