Last year found me leaving my long-term home of Louisiana to move to Austin, Tx. Moving would be difficult. I would be leaving behind my close extended family and many friends – I would be moving near my daughter and her family. I would be leaving the forests and lush vegetation – I would be moving to an area of often arid but beautiful hills. I would be leaving gumbo and boudin – I would be eating Bar-b-que and Tex-Mex. I would be leaving a small town America – I would be moving to a city with museums, theaters, music halls.
A move, whether highly anticipated or deeply dreaded, is a stressful life event. To thrive I needed to let go of the past, start over, and move ahead. Moving involves a grief process. Like many movers, I experienced some anger at the person/circumstances contributing to the move, depression, and sadness, and denial. I determined, however, to not let these feelings cause me to fail to make new friends and claim Austin as my home.
Some tips I found helpful for thriving in my new home include:
1. Keeping a journal to help process feelings, and writing letters to family and friends left behind to help clarify/communicate feelings.
2. Joining an exercise class to ward off depression and meet new friends.
Check out some sports & fitness classes you can find in Austin here!
3. Focusing on new opportunities not what was left behind. Joining a church, taking a class, joining a gym.
4. Accepting that it will take time to settle in. Aiming to complete one goal a day, and rewarding myself when I accomplished it.
5. Creating a comfortable “nest” – buying flowers, burning candles, establishing new traditions, welcoming neighbors.
6. Taking good care of myself – eating right, reading good books, trying one new thing a day, reminding myself it’s okay to cry sometimes, taking hot baths- you get the picture!
7. Finding out about my new city – where is the hospital, the library, the driver’s license office? Where is the best place to have lunch, to take the grandkids to play, to go to church? Who are my new neighbors, and what do they like to do?
8. Volunteering -a great way not to feel sorry for myself and to meet new people!
Moving to a new city can be stressful, but it can also be a great new start. ENJOY!
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