By Clarity Counseling Services
Relocating to a new place is often viewed as a good thing. True enough, it is exciting and full of new possibilities. It often comes with a positive life event such a new job, furthering one’s education or moving to be with a loved one. So much so that the challenges that come with relocation are rarely addressed and shrugged off in fear of being perceived as being negative or whiny. Unfortunately, the challenges that arise are very real and could cause lasting side effects on top of entirely new problems. Those who have relocated or are planning to, take note.
Common challenges faced by people who have relocated:
• New Culture-Every place has its own culture, even places in the same country or even town. The further the move, the bigger this difference in culture may seem.
• Loss of Social Support- Leaving behind friends and family can be very traumatising
• Feeling Alone or Lost- Being in a new environment without close friends and family can make you feel lonely. There is also a lack of familiarity and comfort of restaurants or places that you have visited for many years.
• Regret & Blame-Sometimes we decide to relocate to be with loved ones and when things don’t go as planned we tend to feel regretful and blame them for our situation.
What can you do?
Keep in touch with people from home
Regular contact will help but be careful not to overdo this that it keeps you from making new connections.
Get in touch with people who have similar interests
Regardless of cultural backgrounds, there are always some things that bond people. Books, Movies, TV shows, Food, Music. Love for these can transcend any cultural divide.
Take up a new hobby
Relocation can be an excellent time to learn something new. Start a hobby that you always wanted to but never had the time or just pick something that sounds fun. Either way, it will be enjoyable and help you meet new people.
Make an effort to learn the language
As an outsider, it will be very easy to make friends with others like you who speak your language and seem to have more in common with you. As comforting as this may seem, you could miss out on opportunities to meet great people or learn new things about the place you’re in from locals. Learning the local language is a great way to show the locals that you want to connect. They will appreciate the effort and in turn make an effort to include you. Not to mention how much easier it would be to get things done.
Get out of the house and explore
Learning about your new city or town or village will help you fall in love with it. Communicate with the people around you and do not hesitate to ask questions. Avoiding this and staying in your comfort zone could lead to isolation.
Communicate with your family/partner
If you’ve relocated with family, make sure to check in with them on how they’re handling the change. Don’t make assumptions-ask. Children especially encounter a number of challenges when they have to leave their friends and family behind. Be careful of any problems that you or your family may be having so that they can be addressed early on.
When it comes to relocating to be with a loved one there are additional challenges that have to be addressed. When you make a step to leave behind everything to be with a loved one it is important to remember that you made this choice. If you are finding it difficult to adjust to the new environment, the person you moved for should not be blamed. Instead it should be discussed with your loved one so that you can find solutions together. If you feel regret or blame arising it should be addressed immediately and not be allowed to build up till it surfaces all at once.
Plan your days ahead
Generally people feel more comforted when they have a routine and have things to look forward to.
Get tips from others like you
Make use of the internet. There are groups online for everything under the sun. Find one that is for people who have relocated to your city and learn from them.