So, You Moved…Now What?
It’s a new day, and you are waking up in your new home in a new city after your relocation. After months of planning, chaos, and stress, you have finally moved. Now what?
I like to call this the in-between phase. You haven’t quite left your old place behind; the new place doesn’t yet feel like home.
When pondering the “Now what?” question in your transition, here are 5 things to consider:
1) Don’t jump right into a new beginning.
Happily ever after doesn’t always begin right away. William Bridges created his Model of Transition, which outlines 3 phases of change. The first phase is “Endings” where you mourn everything you have lost. The next phase is the “Neutral Zone” where you aren’t exactly sad, but you aren’t bursting with excitement either. Finally, you move to “New Beginnings” where you are ready to embrace the new. Many times, we are tempted to push ourselves into the new beginnings phase as the first stage. Instead, spend time reflecting on how you feel and identify what you have lost. When you don’t feel enthused about your new place yet, remind yourself that you may just be in the neutral zone.
2) Find a new activity.
Being in the endings phase, feeling sad and possibly missing your old place, does not mean you need to sit around and feel sorry for yourself. Finding a new activity to do works on many levels. Firstly, novel experiences generate a healthy dose of dopamine in the body. Dopamine is the chemical also known as the feel-good hormone. Secondly, finding a new activity helps us step out of the house and make connections.
3) Be a tourist in your new city.
Imagine if you arrived in your new town as a tourist. What would you do? What places would you visit? After living in a place long enough, most people regret that they didn’t take the time to explore new people, places, and things in their own city. Make a list and head out every weekend to discover what’s out there.
4) Unpack ALL your boxes.
Unpacking can seem overwhelming after a move. According to this study, Americans take 182 days to unpack their last box after a move. No wonder it takes some time for the new place to feel like home! Not to mention, the mere sight of boxes lying around is enough to signal to the brain that this is still a period of transition. On the other hand, unpacking boxes can be therapeutic and help you move through the phases of change and transition outlined in point # 1.
5) Lastly, be gentle with yourself.
This suggestion is important to consider. Moving is one of the top stressors and therefore can be very draining. There will always be a mountain of things to do. You likely won’t get to them all. But you can be gentle with yourself. This is not the time to bring out your inner critic. Instead, pat yourself on the back for how far you have come, while gently continuing to move forward.
Remind yourself time and again, that this too will soon start feeling like home. The roads will be familiar, you will make new friends, and you will find a new job as well (be sure to maximize your IMPACT Group career coach during each phase!). Until then, enjoy the NOW. It will make the journey through the “Now what?” easier and more fulfilling.
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