When you’re new in a community, it’s easy to experience intense relocation stress because you’re new. You don’t know many people and it’s hard to force yourself to get out and make friends. Here are some guidelines to help.
— Plan your first days, weeks and even months before you leave.
When you’re a newcomer it’s easy to stay home and pack just one more box or decorate another room. It’s even more tempting to stay home and watch just one more basketball game or episode of your favorite show. These activities are deadly for newcomers. Develop a plan for spending your time so you won’t end up miserable and isolated.
You will have gaps in your social calendar at first. Many of us don’t realize that we’ve got a standing dinner invitation with a particular friend or a weekly get-together to watch a football game. We notice the gaps when they are gone.
You will be alone more than before, especially if you are single. Even families report they spend more time together; one couple spoke sadly about being lonely as a “pack of two” during their first six months.
— Keep your work life separate from home.
When you’re new and you don’t know many people, it’s easy to share your feelings with your boss and coworkers. However, when you interact with someone from work, you are always “on.” They want to hear that you are enjoying your new home. They just want to hear the good stuff.
Besides, in a new city, you don’t know how relationships work. Your kind next-door-neighbor may be your boss’s wife’s cousin…or your best customer’s ex-wife. You have to be extremely careful when reaching out for friendship.
— Choose a confidante and sounding board BEFORE you move.
Plan for this separation by choosing a confidante before you move. If you are moving as a family you have a built-in, confidential system, but you can’t take them for granted. Almost inevitably, every family member experiences the move differently: some are ecstatic while others are miserable. Additionally, you can exhaust your family’s goodwill fairly quickly.
Ideally you will choose a close friend or even hire a coach who will be available by phone. If you talk to someone who knew you before you moved, you will get some perspective. They might say things like, “You always complained about the same thing here!” or, “You sound happier than I’ve ever heard you,” or even, “You better get out of there: you sound awful.”
Relocation can be stressful but many people look back on a relocation as the high point of their lives. Often just a small amount of planning can make a huge difference. My book, Making The Big Move, is just about the only resource that deals with financial, personal and emotional baggage associated with relocation. You can download your copy here: http://www.RelocationStrategy.com