How I coped with my first major relocation
We move from small towns to large cities, large cities to small towns, west coast to east coast, and vice versa. I graduated from a university in the Pacific Northwest, and relocated to southern California for my first job after graduation. It’s amazing how much the climate changes between Seattle (rain) and Los Angeles (sunshine). Driving aggressively is one way people express their anger. For instance, running a red light and honking the horn are passive aggressive driving tactics. The drought in autumn caused all the leaves to turn brown and dry up.
It’s been a huge adjustment to move, but I’ve relocated previously so I know how to respond to cultural and environmental change. I have traveled a few times now, and I’ve learned what to do during negative coping patterns as well as finding ways to stay calm while going through this transition.
Even though my previous moves were successful, they weren’t easy. I experienced a roller coaster of emotions and feelings of loneliness every time. My body hasn’t adjusted to life in LA either—as much as we all hoped it would after moving so many times before this one!
Whether you’re new to a city or moving again, adjusting takes time. In fact, it’s taken me about a year on average after each move before I feel comfortable in my place. Sometimes the process is frustrating and other times comforting — like knowing that there are tools at your disposal if needed but often remembering patience because this transition will take longer than months for some people. Here are several ways how I’ve adjusted:
Go for a walk or a run.
It is always best practice to familiarize yourself with a new town and surrounding areas, but embracing a city will allow you to absorb it all at once. Can I settle into my new apartment if I can’t see the whole city? Living anywhere where I can get a full or almost view of it has been crucial for me. Griffith Park and Runyon Canyon, both running along the edges of LA, have been huge helpers in helping me adjust to my new home. When you visit a city with higher elevation, it’s easy to see why people choose to live there. Not only can you enjoy beautiful views of a city with high elevation; breathing properly is also easier because the smell isn’t as strong and you don’t hear as much noise.
When exploring cities, it is easy to become overwhelmed. This advice can also assist with stress and anxiety due to the fact that exercise is a fantastic way of dealing with such conditions.
Make a regimen for yourself.
I love living in cities and experiencing new places. But, when it comes to anxiety I find that predictability helps a lot! So, my routine is always the same- wake up early for coffee and writing time before anything else happens. The first hour of every day allows me to grow as an individual which makes everything about life more manageable.
Re-watch some of your favorite movies.
I recently moved to Los Angeles and decided to re-watch all of the Harry Potter movies. Why?Because watching the show fills me with such strong emotions, hearing the theme music and seeing it fill my apartment gives me a feeling of nostalgia that comforts my current living situation.I spent the entire winter of my first big move to Bellingham, WA, watching all six seasons of Lost. I then spent the following four months binge-watching eight seasons of Grey’s Anatomy during my relocation to Seattle, WA. After that I spent days googling things to do before your move in Dubai
When moving to a new city has caused me anxiety and stress, I watch my favorite television shows as a coping mechanism. If, like me, your previous coping behavior for releasing unwanted emotions was related to an eating disorder or unhealthy habit of any kind. Don’t spend the entire year in front of the TV ignoring you’ve moved, but do use it when thinking about your new life has become too difficult and other tools have gotten too much.
Keep in mind what you like doing.
You should make a list of all the places you want to see in your new city. Some will be tourist attractions, but others might just be locals’ favorite spots. Don’t forget that it’s okay if some things don’t work out well for you-you can always try something else! I love bookstores and there are definitely less options available here than what Seattle has but LA does have several charming small shops worth checking out too.
Reward yourself with a pat on the back.
Moving is a big mental and physical challenge, and accepting that change takes courage. You might think that just because you accepted the new position, it’s now time to tell everyone how nice it is and say goodbye. This is not true. Adapting to your new surroundings after a move will be tiring and challenging.
Living in a new country can be both exciting and daunting. Building relationships with like-minded people will help you to adjust more easily, as well as provide support for your mental health. Try not to hide away from any hard emotions; instead embrace them so that they slowly fade into the background of everyday life where they belong