Moving house and settling into a new place often involves a mixture of excitement, anxiety, nostalgia and feelings of separation from loved ones. Such feelings are natural and can arise at different times, especially when the move has occurred to a significantly distant place or is culturally different. How to deal with these feelings? We will tell you about it in this blog post.
Acknowledge your feelings
Firstly, it is important to acknowledge and accept your feelings. Nostalgia, longing and feelings of separation are natural. Telling yourself that you “shouldn’t feel this way” will probably only make things worse.
Look for support groups, clubs or organisations that bring together people in a similar situation. This could be a group for foreigners, people who have recently moved or any other community of interest.
Keep in touch with loved ones after the move
Thanks to technology, keeping in touch with family and friends is easier than ever. Regular phone calls, video conferencing or even writing letters can help you stay close.
Get involved in new activities
Try out a new hobby, sign up for courses, join a sports club or volunteer group. Getting involved in new activities will help you make new friends and feel more rooted in a new place.
Create a routine
A regular routine will help you feel more ‘at home’. This could be a morning jog, a daily visit to your favourite coffee shop or an evening reading.
Decorate and personalise your new place
Surround yourself with things that remind you of home or have special meaning to you.
Get to know your new surroundings when you move
Spend time exploring your new city or neighbourhood. Discover new places that become your favourites and allow yourself to enjoy your new environment.
Understand cultural differences
If you have moved to a different country or region with a different culture, try to understand and adapt to local customs. This can also help you form new relationships.
Give yourself time
Adapting in a new environment can take time. Be understanding to yourself and give yourself space to feel the feelings that may arise.
Consider consulting a psychologist
If feelings of nostalgia, sadness or anxiety become overwhelming, consider seeking professional help. Remember that many people go through similar experiences and feelings after a move. Be supportive and open to new experiences, and over time the feelings of separation and nostalgia are likely to give way to new memories and experiences.
Cultural adaptation after moving to another country
When a move involves a different country or culture, we may experience culture shock. Culture shock is a reaction to unfamiliar situations and new ways of thinking or behaving.
Adjusting to a new culture often goes through several stages:
The euphoria stage: Initial fascination and delight in a new place.
Crisis stage: Frustration and misunderstanding of new norms and values.
Revival stage: Understanding and acceptance of cultural differences.
Acceptance stage: A sense of belonging to the new environment.
Adaptation strategies after a move
Here are additional strategies that can help with adaptation:
Educate yourself about the new place. This can include history, culture, language and customs.
Spend time with local people, attend local events and celebrations.
Getting to know your neighbours
A supportive relationship with your neighbours can be the key to feeling at home.
Keep a positive attitude
Being open and flexible in your thinking can help you adapt more easily.
Long-term adaptation of a new place to move to
Adapting to a new place is a process that can take months or even years. The key is patience and a willingness to learn and experience. As time passes:
Find a balance
Try to combine elements of the old and new culture in your daily life.
Understand your identity
Reflect on how your experiences shape your identity. What do you take from your previous place and what do you adopt from your new place?
Open up to change
As you adapt to your new environment, your values, beliefs and behaviours may evolve.
Support your children after the move
If the move involves the whole family, it is important to support children through the adaptation process. They may feel strong feelings of longing for their old home, friends and routine. Help them form new relationships, encourage them to participate in extracurricular activities and talk regularly about their feelings and concerns.
In conclusion, moving and adapting in a new place is a challenge, but also an opportunity to grow, learn and enrich one’s identity. Supporting yourself and your loved ones in this process is key to success.