Moving to a new city can be a very ungrounding and stressful experience. According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress inventory, moving is one of the most stressful life events a person can experience. I’ve also found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences.
I have moved my fair share of times, and while it never gets easier, I have learned some tips and tricks over the years to adapt which make the transition a bit smoother.
1. Go to the grocery store and stock your fridge.
You will need fuel to handle the stress of moving, as well as to partake in any of the activities I have listed below. It’s important to have enough food to feel safe, secure, and grounded. You might even want to do some meal prep to help
2. Fully unpack and set up your space.
This should be the next thing you do when you move somewhere new. It will help you lay the foundations for the rest of your time staying there. It will actually ease your anxiety to get such a big task done, and it will allow your mind to focus on other tasks without that being in the back of your mind all the time.
3. Get to know the area.
Walk, bike, or drive around. I recently lived in Scottsdale for a brief amount of time. I drove for DoorDash as a way to become more familiar with the surrounding neighborhoods, and I made some extra cash while doing it. It helped me get acquainted with my surroundings, which helped me feel more stable and secure where I was.
4. Find a significant other.
This is very grounding by virtue of having that connection to another person who really cares about you. It might take time to establish such a connection, but I find that through romantic relationships, we can learn more about ourselves. While it is not necessary to have a significant other to feel grounded, it can help, especially if it’s someone who lives in the same city as you, perhaps even a local who can help show you around. It doesn’t have to be anything too serious right away, it can just be someone you enjoy spending time with.
5. Connect with people—either those you might have known from the past or new friends.
The best way to meet new people is through volunteering or joining some sort of organization. When you are showing up to the same place with the same people time and time again, it is easier to establish connections. I would also recommend support groups, attending Meetups, going to open mics, or even just frequenting the same coffee shop time and time again. Even better is to reconnect with old friends, family members, or acquaintances you might have known from the past. It can be interesting to see what people from the past have been up to after all these years.
6. Join a local gym.
A great way to connect with other people is through exercise. It promotes bonding and creates endorphins. The memories you create while exercising with others get stored within the body in a very powerful way, making these bonds and connections long-lasting. Having a home base where you work out is also helpful in feeling grounded.
7. If you didn’t move because of a job, find a job.
Having a job where you are located will help you to become more grounded and stable in your environment. If you work from home or online, I’d recommend trying to get out of your comfort zone of being at home all the time and going to the same place to do work every day, whether that is a coffee shop or a coworking community. As a bonus, this can also help boost your productivity.