How To Adjust When Moving to a New City

Moving to a new city is very exciting, but the transition can be challenging. Although the most stressful part of moving may seem to be packing and unpacking, it usually hits after you settle in your new space. Once a few weeks go by, you have to face the challenge of creating a new routine for yourself, meeting new people, and getting to know your neighborhood, and it can be even more overwhelming than the move itself.

According to, here are a few ways to help you get in the groove faster, so you can enjoy your adventure in the new city.

Get Settled in Your New Home


It’s tempting to leave boxes unopened after you get to your new house, but you should unpack as soon as you’ve recovered from the stress of moving. Set a deadline for yourself and stick to it. Unpack and settle in on your first free weekend so you can start your new life both stress- and clutter-free.

If you don’t have a lot of your furniture, try adding a few personal details to make your new space reflect your personality. You can put family photos on your walls, get a bouquet of your favorite flowers, or buy bed covers in your favorite color. Even if the furniture pieces aren’t to your taste, it’s often the little details that matter most.

If you’ve already made some friends or acquaintances, it’s a good idea to plan a housewarming party so that you’ll have a hard deadline for unpacking. Finally, unpacking will take away all of your anxiety and enable you to begin transforming your new house into a safe and cozy space you can call home.

Find the Necessities and a Routine


Novelty is terrific and exciting — it fills us with passion and enthusiasm. But a stable daily routine is what makes us feel safe, reduces anxiety, and gives us enough control over our lives. To feel more at home, it’s essential to get into the habit of doing the same things every day, so you can establish the routine you lost once you moved to a new environment.

Chances are that you had your favorite coffee shop, a flower corner that you would always stop by, a trusted car mechanic, and an overall feeling of familiarity. Now is the perfect time to reinvent your habits, establish a new routine, and meet your inner needs and wants. Walk everywhere. Find your favorite bakery, and say hi to a salesperson from a local farmer’s market. If you used to jog, make sure to research the best places for jogging in your new town.

Developing new habits can help you feel more at ease in your new location and less like a temporary visitor. Taking ownership of your surroundings and having a favorite ice cream place or coffee shop shows that you’re starting to get accustomed to your new neighborhood.

Join the Community


When you change your city, you also change the entire community you used to be a part of. It’s great if you’re lucky enough to have some friends or family at your new place, but you may have to start making friends and meeting new people from scratch. Most adults haven’t done that since high school or college, and it can be pretty challenging even for the most extroverted of us.

A great way to start meeting new people is by taking the initiative and participating in something. It can be a local yoga studio or a gym — both of which will help you alleviate stress, work on your well-being, plus potentially meet someone interesting. If you’re into arts and crafts, book an art class, and you will most likely meet many like-minded people there.

Dig through all of your interests and try to turn them into potential hobbies. You will have a fun and fulfilling time doing what sparks your joy, and you will get to know people more. Some of them can potentially become your new best friends, or even something more.

Getting out in the community is especially critical if you’re working from home. Being alone in a completely unknown city locked up in your house can be a very alienating experience. It gives you too much space to get into your head without the proper focus to blow off some steam. After all, humans are social creatures — even those who feel the coziest alone in their own homes.

Make Video Dates With Friends


When everything is full of novelty and new experiences, it can be easy to forget to keep in regular touch with your loved ones. Talking to them is essential in order to feel seen and supported while nurturing and adjusting your relationships to new circumstances.

It’s good to have a specific time and day dedicated just for that. If we learned anything from this pandemic, it’s to utilize the perks of digital technology. Schedule that virtual coffee date with your best friends, and text your family regularly. Once you’re accustomed enough, invite them to visit you. They will be happy to see you joyful and starting your new life.

Adjusting Takes Time


Once the novelty and excitement wear off, don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel a little bit empty or lost. Adjustment is a long process that takes time, even if you’re the most adventure-seeking person. There is no timeline for how long it takes someone to adapt.

Go at your own pace, and don’t pressure yourself to feel good all the time. It might take up to a year or even more before you start calling your new city home, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while. The key to feeling at ease is setting small and realistic goals for your daily routine and meeting them.

Let those goals be fun. It can be anything from visiting all the parks and green areas to volunteering in a local organization. If you have something fulfilling to focus on regularly, you will look around the street one day and feel at home.

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