How To Feel At Home In A New City

by Raven Ishak

There is nothing more challenging (mentally and physically) than moving and adjusting to that move. You are leaving the familiar to seek a new adventure in a far away land. Although, mentally, you have been preparing yourself for all the heartfelt goodbyes, there is still a glimmer of excitement amongst the waves of emotions you might be feeling leaving all your friends behind.

One of the coolest things about moving to a new town, especially one that is drastically different from your own, is the endless new possibilities you might encounter. It's thrilling to think about your future and how it could unfold just by making one of the scariest decisions of your life. I knew, for myself, that the next step toward my career was to move to the Big Apple. To me, this was the beginning of something great. As a control freak (I'll admit it), I don't handle personal change that well; I love habit and knowing what's happening next. But I knew that I needed to struggle a little bit to get my writing career going.

Whatever your reason might be as to why you are making your great next big move, just remember this: Change is inevitable; it's bound to happen, but one of the greatest things you could do, is take charge of that change and create something beautiful out of it. So instead, don't stress, and enjoy what your new city has to offer. Here are seven tried (by yours truly) and true ways to enjoy your new city, to adjust after a big move and conquer your fear.

1. Keep Your Mind Open to New Experiences

There is no doubt that your mind must be going a mile a minute, that's natural. Just don't let it overwhelm you. Take this time to get organize in your home and to relinquish any expectations you might have had. Don't expect perfection. Every city has their own baggage, but how you are willing to explore it, is up to you.

When I moved to New York, I wasn't prepared for the 4 p.m. sunsets (ugh!) or huge delays when it came to the public transportation. It's something that I learned with overtime and just excused it as an experience that I wouldn't have anywhere else. Just accept your new city for what is it and soon you will start calling it your new home in no time.

2. Unpack Everything

The best way to get adjusted very quickly is by making your new house feel like a home. The one nice thing about moving is that you probably brought a good amount of personal items with you. Take these items out so you can start seeing them everyday. It really helped me when I hung up all my pictures of my friends and family in my new home. It reminded me of how loved I am by them. Once you start feeling comfortable in your own home, the rest will be a piece of cake

3. Go Explore

If you have moved with someone or your significant other, and have some downtime, why not take that time to explore your new backyard? Go search online, or ask your friends who may have visited this new city of yours before, for some killer awesome recommendations to eat or shop at.

When I first moved, on my day off, I would search on Instagram for some of the coolest spots nearby my house. It helped my boyfriend and I get a bit more quaint and comfortable with our new town and it was always fun to go on a new adventure because we had each other. Once you start becoming familiar with the streets around your hood, the transition will quickly come faster than you least expect it.

4. Stay In Touch With Your Long-Distance Friends and Family

Talking about your situation with others can be a therapeutic way for you to feel adjusted to your new home. Your friends and family are probably excited to hear about your new life anyways, might as well drop the deets on them. I always try to Skype or text with my friends once a month. It really helps to keep my head on straight and they are always encouraging when I start to feel lost or uneasy.

5. Be Open With Connections

Usually when one moves to a new city, that also means new friends. It might seem hard, especially as an adult, to make new friends and actually keep them! We are so afraid of being judge by one another, that sometimes, it's hard to open up and be, well, friendly. Instead, let random encounters happen and always smile. Of course, don't forget to be safe about your surroundings, too. Let's not forget that, but don't let the loneliness take over and give you more stress. You don't need more of that in your life.

6. Cook Meals & Have A Full Fridge

This might sound crazy, but you know you always feel better when you have a fridge full of food. Go to the grocery store down the street to grab your favorite snacks and meals. For myself, I always love having my favorite snacks in my fridge. And, personally, a good chocolate milkshake can handle any stress. I don't care what you say.

According to a Psychology Today article, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist at Stanford, said home cooked meals influence women and how they feel saying, “Now, most of us think that eating out is a treat, and that indulgent meals are a special reward. But this study found that women were significantly happier and less stressed after eating at home, and after eating healthier meals.” Come on, it's in the pudding.

7. Try To Create A Routine

Of course your routine might not be identical to what it once was when you were living in your previous town, but creating a whole new routine will definitely help with the coping of adjusting to everything you are experiencing. It might take a couple of weeks or even months to organically create a new routine, but take this time to make healthier life choices: Try to exercise, write out a list of things you still need to do (because moving feels like it's never ending when it comes to paperwork), and try and hang out with new friends. While Netflix and Chilling is never a bad idea, it's also really healthy to try and get out of the house, too. When I moved to New York, I was figuring out the train system, and how long I needed to get from point A to point B or how to stay organized more when I felt like the busting city gave me less time to deal with in a day. It's a lot more stress, but in the end, figuring out your routine, will simplify your life in more ways than one.

Moving can make you feel stressed, sad, or frustrated — but it can also be exciting, and filled with new possibilities. Try to focus on those positives, and eventually it will get easier, little by little.

Images: Giphy (7); Pexels