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How to Get Adjusted in a New City

Moving is always an adjustment, but moving to a new city adds an extra layer of stress. Here are ten tips for making the move to a new city as smooth as possible.

1. Ask others where you should eat

Let’s say you’ve moved to a new city and also started a new job. Ask your co-workers where they like to eat. This accomplishes more than one thing. First, it reminds your new office-mates that you’re new and don’t know your way around, which could encourage them to help you out. They may volunteer to take you out for a meal, in which case you’ll see a bit of the city around your office and have a person (or small group) to eat with.

2. Before moving, learn as much as you can about your new city

Familiarize yourself with the new city before you even begin the move. If you’ll be starting a new job, read all the company’s online promotions materials and any documents you can find. Learn your new company’s mission statement and start memorizing the names of the people in charge.

Even if you won’t be starting a job at an unfamiliar place, read as much as you can about the city you’ll relocate to. Start to familiarize yourself with the locations of services like the post office, grocery stores, libraries, etc. Read about other people’s experiences in the city and you’ll start to get an idea of the local culture.

3. Do things alone

Don’t let the fact that you haven’t made many new friends yet keep you indoors. Take yourself out to eat, out for a drink, to the movies, to the museum…any place you would go with friends, just go alone. You’ll eventually meet new people, but in the meantime, don’t let this hold you back from exploring your new home.

4. Find a third space

A third space is some place that’s not home and not work. Whether it’s a coffee shop, a park, or a bookstore, find some place to spend time where you feel comfortable and relaxed. This will keep your new routine from feeling like an endless loop between home and work.

5. Give yourself time to adjust

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t immediate love your new surroundings. A period of adjustment is normal and happens to everyone. It’ll get better with time.

6. Network

Call upon resources from your past activities to see if you can make any interpersonal connections. Reach out to your friends on social media, college classmates, former work colleagues, or members of volunteer or professional organizations you belong to. Find people you have something in common with and make plans with them. They’ll introduce you to their local friends, and in no time you’ll start to feel like one of them.

7. Plan events to look forward to

Having something to look forward to pulls you out of your day-to-day routine. A visit with a friend from your home town, a concert, or something as simple as a workout class on your calendar can help relieve loneliness and give you a new sense of stability in your new place.

8. Take care of yourself

While you’re in transition, don’t neglect your basic needs. Eat well, get enough sleep, and manage stress with exercise and relaxation time built into your schedule.

9. Temporarily ban places you already know

Learn about your new home by shopping and eating in local places that didn’t have locations in your old town. Decide on a time period, whether it’s one week, more, or less, and only patronize new-to-you establishments during that time. No repeats!

10. Walk

Walking the streets of your new town is the best way to take in all the fine details. You’ll notice shops and sights you’d miss when traveling by public transit, car, or even bike.

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