Moving to a new place is a sentimental journey we all take. Whether it’s going to college or moving in with your partner, leaving the house you once called home can be a very stressful situation for anyone. In fact, experts said that moving is right up there with divorce as one of the most stressful situations we have to go through in our lives. Over time, we develop attachments to our homes and communities. Leaving this sense of camaraderie makes us doubtful that we’re doing the right choice.
While it can be exciting to move into energy-efficient homes in a whole new city, this feeling also comes with dread. Will you be friends with your neighbors? Is there a coffee shop there as good as the one you visit in your old community? Is it the right place for your career? How can you keep in touch with your friends?
Moving can be extremely exciting, but it can also be jarring. It does not end when the moving trucks pull away from your driveway. The stress doesn’t end when you’ve unboxed your things and organized your new home. Stress may even increase once you start living your life in this new city. So, why is moving such an emotional time for anyone and what can you do about it?
It is natural for people to resist change. Even the most adventurous people will naturally feel threatened by the changes in their lives. You fear the unknown. You may be moving away to seek better opportunities and a better environment, but that will not stop this feeling of anxiety from creeping in. No one’s sure if they made the right choice in moving or if they picked the best city for them. What if this new city is worse than the environment you left? What happens then?
There is nothing worse than starting over. Just when you think you have your life figured out, you suddenly have to upend it and move to a new home. Just when you have finally organized your home and renovated the basement, your boss calls to tell you that you’re being assigned to a new city; one that’s hundreds of miles away from where you are now. New beginnings are scary because no one knows how the new place is going to treat you.
It isn’t always easy to settle into a new place. You have to restart everything—your relationships with your neighbors, the friendly banter you always have with the local barista, getting that old machine in the laundromat to work, and developing new friendships at work. It takes time and effort for these things. The same time and effort you’ve poured into your old community.
Expectations vs. Reality
Moving to a new place is filled with a lot of fantasies and expectations. If you’re moving into a bigger city, you’ll be amazed at the convenience and fast-paced way of life. It’s going to feel like you’re in a Hollywood movie if you find yourself in New York, for example. Times Square is a sight to behold. The rush of people all-day-long will pump adrenaline into your bloodstream. Often, it doesn’t feel real anymore.
But then, it will start to hit you. Once the bills piled up and you’re missing your friends. Reality will give you a big blow to the head. This is an expensive city, you’ll tell yourself. Why ever did you want to move here? There are traffic and the high cost of living. You miss that old diner in your neighborhood. Even diner food in New York is expensive. And the weather’s horrid. It’s too cold during winter and too hot during summer.
Nothing Is Permanent
However, you have to remind yourself that nothing in this world is permanent. That stress you feel because of moving in? That will go away. In a few months, you’ll laugh at yourself. What were you so worried about? If you moved into a new country, you’ll begin to pick up the native language in a matter of time. And if you didn’t, that’s okay, too. Eventually, you’ll recognize the signals and hand gestures. You’ll create a whole new way to communicate.
Because that’s how people operate. Your environment isn’t the only thing that changes. You change, too. You’ll seek new adventures. You’ll take risks. You’ll learn to adapt.
So, if you’re in the process of moving in, accept that this is a transition that will hopefully make you better. Leaving a place doesn’t mean turning your back on it or your friends. Treat this process like how you would a long vacation abroad. Pump yourself up with the prospect of gaining a new perspective in life, meeting new people, and experiencing life outside your bubble.