In this week’s episode of sad, lonely and isolated… haha just kidding. Seriously though, it’s starting to feel like I am just talking about my life on a podcast. Today I am writing about the concept of change – in particular, moving to a new place – and how to embrace it.
Change is hard, but let’s be honest, there’s no getting around it. It is the one constant in our life. Moving to a new city is exciting and amazing, but it’s also scary, isolating, draining, and you will spend most of your time alone (in the beginning, anyway). You have to learn to make this place your own and create your own practices and habits that will keep you going. After three months abroad, here are some things that I have implemented to get through those days when you don’t particularly want to get out of bed:
Talk to strangers
This is probably the hardest one on the list, but I still continue to do it and it makes such a difference. It doesn’t have to be a stranger passing in the street, but start a conversation with the person working at the supermarket or at a cafe. Tell people that you’ve moved – people are kind at heart, and they want to help where they can. Doing this will also build up your confidence to make friends and meet new people (remember, you may not ever see this person again).
Make a playlist
Music is one of those things that can pretty much help any situation. If you’re happy, listen to pump-up pop music, if you’re going through a break up, listen to emotional ballads. Create a playlist with songs that will help you through this change. When I listen to a particular song or playlist during a time of change in my life, I start to associate the music with that place, a person, or what was going on in my life at that time. It can also create memories when you listen back to those songs later.
Writing down the change you’re going through is good for two reasons. Reason one: it can help you process the emotions you are feeling at the time and help you detach from them. Reason two: it allows you to look back at what you went through at a certain time and see how far you’ve come. It can remind you that you can get through anything.
Find a place that makes you happy
Maybe this is a place that makes you feel like home, maybe you like the people that frequent this place, or maybe it’s just somewhere that’s beautiful or quiet. Go to this place whenever you need. For me, it is the cafe that is a short walk from the place where I live. The people that work there are always friendly and it’s the place that I do most of my writing, which makes me happy. Everyone is individual, so find a place that feels safe to you.
Find a hobby that you love
This could be something that you did at home, or something new, but I find that keeping busy, engaging your brain and putting effort into something that inspires you or allows you to be creative is a great way at adjusting to change. It could be joining a club, finding a local sport team, creating a garden and tending to it – it can be anything. Depending on the hobby, it can also be a good way to develop your social circle and meet some new people.
Find one friend
Being alone can be really hard, and that is coming from an introvert. When I moved, I didn’t know anyone – no friends, family, distant relatives. Finding one friend gave me the opportunity to talk about what I was going through, brightened up my day just that little bit more, and gave me someone to enjoy the city with. Try and find someone who makes you feel safe, accepted and comfortable above all else. Because of my job, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of people my age and that made it difficult. I’ve found a few great friends and I met them all online. So many different platforms are available now and make it so easy to meet people.
Change your mindset
Change is not permanent. Learning to reframe thoughts that create black clouds in your mind is so important. Remember that change is a new beginning and an opportunity to be completely yourself – an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Focus on the reason that you chose to make this change – the why – that will keep you going and help you embrace it.
Cover photo by Gül Işık