Starting over in a new city? You're probably excited, nervous, bursting with anxiety. You might also be super stressed — how will you do in a strange place all by your lonesome? If relocating solo is on your agenda, here's some advice for how to cope with feeling lonely when you move to a new city.
While you're probably anticipating a lot of logistics going into a big move, it's important to look at all of parts of it that need addressing, not just the material ones. SimplyPsychology reminds us of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which says humans have five main needs they aim to satisfy: Physiological Needs, like food, water, shelter, and sleep to survive; Safety Needs, or the ability to feel secure; Belongingness, in that we want to feel accepted by friends, family, and partners; Esteem, or feeling a sense of accomplishment, and finally, Self-Actualization, or the desire to achieve our full potential.
Right in the middle of the hierarchy, there it is, plain as day: We want to feel like we belong. Even the most introverted of us needs to feel loved and accepted. That can be a real task when you move to a different state — and if you move to a different country? Maybe one where they speak another language? Oof.
You might feel overwhelmed — totally understandable. But there are ways to cope! A recent Ask Reddit thread full of advice from people who have done it before revealed a bunch of suggestions for how to do just that — and odds are, a few of them will help you too.
1. Find People From Your Hometown
You certainly don't want to limit yourself when it comes to the new friends you make, but tracking down people who moved from the same area you did can help you feel a little more at home, even though you're someplace totally strange.
2. Get A Social Job
Finding the strength and motivation to make new friends on your own can be really tough. When you have a social job, it almost forces you to make new friends, which can be a really good thing.
3. Start Being A "Yes" Person
This is so huge. When we're nervous and stressed, it's in our nature to decline invitations. As long as you feel safe and secure doing so, go ahead and let yourself say yes.
4. Follow Your Hobbies And Join A Group
Clubs are great. They meet at regular intervals, and you get to interact with like-minded people. Sign up for something, really commit to it, and you'll find your tribe.
5. Create An Account On Meetup
Meetup is an amazing tool to find new friends. Search for groups in your area that match your interest and make your way to a meeting.
6. Just Be Friendly
So many of us keep our heads down and stuck in our smartphones. Look up. Engage with people. Say hello. Ask about someone's day. You'd be surprised how far a little kindness can go.
7. Visit The Dog Park
Have you ever noticed how parents of fur babies naturally come together at the dog park? It's because the dog park is one of the happiest places in the world — and the perfect place to make new buddies (both of the two-legged and four-legged variety).
8. Tell People That You're New
Honesty is the best policy. When people hear that you're new, they'll naturally want to help welcome you to their city.
9. Be A Tourist
You're in a new city. Give yourself the chance to explore and feel the excitement and curiosity and adventure. Stop and ask people for directions. Enlist the help of strangers for snapping photos in front of cool monuments. Be a tourist.
10. Make Friends With Coworkers
For so many of us, we see our coworkers more than anyone else. Nurture these relationships so they continue outside the tiny walls of your cubicle.
11. Sign Up On A Dating App
This doesn't have to be about finding the love of your life, although if that's what you want, go for it! Dating apps can also be a pretty easy way to meet new people in your area.
12. Don't Beat Yourself Up
Remember this! Don't be too hard on yourself if you're not making friends as fast as you planned to. Moving is hard. Meeting people is hard. Try to enjoy every moment.