Moving to a new place can be overwhelming, stressful, and full of anxiety, but it can also be enormously fun and a way to push yourself to experience new things. Whether you’re making the change for work, school, or just because you feel you need a change, there are some important things to keep in mind for the first year. Here are some of the best tips on settling in to a new city.
Self-care is important
It can be really stressful to make a move to a strange, unfamiliar place, especially if you don’t know anyone who lives there. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself, whether that means taking time to meditate or exercise or simply finding a place to live that you feel safe in. Do some research on the area before you move and get familiar with local libraries, clubs, grocery stores, and shops so you’ll know what to expect; for instance, stores like Walgreens are called Duane Reade in certain cities, so you might have a familiar drugstore nearby even if it goes by another name.
Make your new home truly yours
If you have moved from a house to an apartment, the transition may be even more challenging
because your sense of space is completely different. No worries; simply use some of the same items from your old place to decorate and make the new place truly yours. If you don’t have room for everything, check out Pinterest for some fun life-hacks that can help you save space in a way that works for you. This is also a chance for you to decorate exactly the way you want, or to create a more “grown-up” space if you’ve been used to living in a college dorm or at your parents’ house.
Stick to a familiar schedule
A move–especially to a new time zone–can be very disorienting. If possible, try to stay on a schedule you’re used to during the day but adjust your sleeping habits before the move so that your body can slowly get used to the time change. After the move, avoid eating and drinking foods that are high in sugar or caffeine so your sleep won’t be interrupted.
Open yourself up
If your new coworkers or classmates invite you to go out, take them up on it! Don’t be afraid to open up to new experiences and potential friends. Remind yourself that this is a wonderful opportunity to grow and learn about your new city. It also can’t hurt to keep an eye out for people who share your interests; if you see another woman in a coffee shop reading a book you love, strike up a conversation with her about it. If the guy in the apartment above you has the same breed of dog that you grew up with, comment on it. Even if it doesn’t lead to a bestie situation, it never hurts to be social or to let the people who live near you know you’re in a new city.
Allow yourself time to adjust
It’s important to remember that everyone needs a little time to adjust to such a big change. Give yourself several days at the beginning to take tours around the new neighborhood and get familiar with everything; later, keep in mind that the first year is the hardest. You may still not be used to the new situation a month or even two months in, but it will happen. Give it time and go easy on yourself, and don’t forget to have fun!