Ten steps to make a new place your home


At some point or another, we all move away: to a new house, a new city, or if you’re like me, a new country. And while this transition may be more common for students who move away for their education, lots of adults find themselves in the middle of this scenario too.

When we uproot ourselves from our home, we face a whole new collection of challenges. Your social structure is mostly non-existent, your everyday routine has been tossed in the air, and simple questions like, “How do I get to the nearest Target?” can send you into a spiral of Google searches and awkward conversation starters.

We have to find our footing at our new place of employment (or find employment) and must learn to navigate a whole new culture. And to be honest, it’s difficult to establish yourself when no one knows you and you know nothing about them.

If this is you, then I’m right there too. The transition to a new home isn’t easy, but it is do-able. Here are ten steps I’m following while I try to make myself a home in a new city. 

  1. Find a place to belong

Before you make the move, identify a community you can build a life around. It could be new housemates, new work mates, a parents group, a church, a book club or a gym. This will centralise you and give you something to work towards straight away.

  1. Find mutual friends

It’s likely that a friend, colleague or loved one knows someone in your new city, or at least knows someone who has been there. Ask your mutual friend to connect you over Facebook or text, and see if you can meet up for coffee or go for a walk. In a perfect world, this would lead to a great friendship, but even if you don’t ‘click’, they’ll be able to give you great advice on how to set up your life there.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

The first few months in a new place are rough, purely because everything is so different. If you need help moving, finding a job, getting transport or finding directions, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask your new community (from step 1), a mutual friend (step 2), or even the city tourism office. If all else fails, talk to your family and friends back home.

  1. Go exploring

Take an afternoon to wander around your new neighbourhood and meet the people there. Find the local convenience store, the best coffee shop, and see what people do for fun. Once you’re settled in this, branch out and take public transport or drive downtown and to other suburbs locals suggest. Make this your city.

  1. Don’t be afraid to fail

Transition isn’t easy. There are some days you will feel accomplished, like you’re fitting in and the move was the best decision you ever made. Other days you will question why you came here and how you can keep going. It’s okay. In the moments when the negatives seem to outside the positives, take a breath and talk to someone from home. Give yourself permission to break routine and recharge, and then keep going.

  1. Be innovative

You have to think outside the box when you’re on your own. The ways and means you normally would have achieved things won’t always work here. So if you’re sick, lost or lack transport, get creative. Think about the ways other people handle these situations, and instead of calling home (which is now hundreds of miles away), look online. I once had medicine and lunch delivered to me through an app because I couldn’t get out of bed.

  1. Back yourself

No matter how you’re feeling or what self doubt comes your way, you’ve got this. You were strong enough to make this transition, and you can complete it. So be kind and gracious with yourself, and celebrate the wins. Every new day is a victory, as is every new social encounter, journey through the city and dinner invitation.

  1. Find a place that reminds you of home

Often the places we move to are completely foreign to us. The way things look, sound and smell are completely different to what we are familiar with, and it takes time to adjust. If you can, find a place in your new city that reminds you of home. It may be in the natural environment (for instance, by a beach or in a forest), or a coffee shop that smells familiar.

  1. Create a routine

Transition is difficult because you have moments of emptiness where you don’t know what to do. Begin to create a routine so your life has some kind of structure. Go to work, find a gym, commit to a community group, go to church, join a sports club or create a social night at home where you relax with housemates or your spouse. Plan these things out in a diary, and you will feel purposeful.

  1. Say ‘yes’

Did someone at work invite you out for drinks? Say yes. Did a friend suggest a local restaurant or movie theatre? Say yes. Did an acquaintance add you on Facebook? Say yes. You have nothing to lose in this new season. So short of taking care of yourself, don’t be afraid to say yes to new people and opportunities that come your way. You never know what will come out of them.

Have you moved away from home? Would you like to explore strategies and techniques to help you through this transition? Here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

Managing The Transition Between Work And Home

The transition from couple with no children  to couple with children is an exciting and yet bewildering experience.A couple's relationship can be brought to near breaking point by the struggle to make the necessary adjustments that the addition of children inevitably thrusts upon you.

This is particularly apparent at the end of the working day when the key family provider comes home from a hard day's work. If you fulfill this role, you will be familiar with the demands that your partner  places upon you when you came home from work and the growing conflict between you as you struggle with feelings of resentment and abandonment. You come home feeling tired , stressed and possibly overwhelmed by your workload, preoccupied with the work day and the many demands it has made upon you. You walk in the front door tired, self-absorbed, and looking for some time to yourself.

Meanwhile, your partner has been with the children all day, attending to their needs, on the go throughout the day. Your arrival home is eagerly anticipated as your partner looks forward to some adult company and a hand with the children.

You walk in the door, looking forward to some space and possibly a nap before the evening meal but before you know it you are accosted by a harassed partner and a couple of children who clamour for your attention. Immediately your irritation goes up a few knots and before you know it, you are in the middle of another argument. How do you change this recurring drama that you go through on a daily basis?

I recently came across an article by Dr Alan Fraser, who has proposed a specific strategy for managing the transition between the workplace and home. Dr Fraser describes 3 ‘spaces' – the first space is your workplace, the second space is your home and the third space is the transition between the first and second space. It is in this third space that you want to prepare yourself for the domestic space you are anticipating as you leave the workplace.

So how do you use this third space effectively, as you travel home?
Dr Fraser ‘s strategy is simple: reflect, rest and reset.
This exercise can be done in just a few minutes or over a lengthier period .

1. Reflect:

You need to intentionally reflect on your day, looking for the things that you did well and the positive outcomes you achieved. When you notice your mind pursuing negative  thoughts, simply acknowledge the thought and then turn your mind to your reflection of what was positive in your day. By noticing the things you did well, your own sense of competence and well being will grow and you will feel more positive and relaxed.

2. Rest:

As your mind dwells on the positive aspects of your day, you will notice yourself feeling calmer and your body more relaxed.  The stress of the day is able to dissipate because in the act of reflection you have effectively calmed and grounded yourself.

3. Reset:

Now you are ready to anticipate how you want to behave as you walk in the front door of your home space. Don't underestimate the positive  impact you can have on  your interaction with your partner, simply  by making up your mind that you will walk in happy, calm and relaxed.

You will have more empathy for your partner, and be able to respond from a place of grounded-ness instead of being angry and preoccupied. In turn, your partner is more likely to feel compassion for your needs and together you will be better able to negotiate the evenings tasks before sitting down.

Why not make it your intention to  practice  this for a two week period. I would be very interested to hear your feedback.

 If you want to grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.

(Dr Adam Fraser is a leading researcher and behaviour expert. His latest book “The Third Space” came out in July 2012. For further information visit dradamfraser.com)