From the time I was a young girl, I’ve been very fond of traveling. Not necessarily hotel rooms and exotic foods -although these are always good- but rather the act of transporting myself from one place to another. I used to think it was the repetitive motions that would lull me to a peaceful state of mind.
However, the more I learn about myself, the more I realize it is the idea of motion and movement that puts my heart at ease. Why? Because it means progress. It is the act of moving itself that takes you from the familiar to the unknown; and in that way, traveling is just like a fresh start.
When you start a new chapter in your life – be it a new job, moving to a new city, or ending a relationship – it is that period between the ending of the previous phase and reaching a new and comfortable normal, that we so often dread. It is difficult to deal with new beginnings, because just like taking a long trip, it can be both an exciting adventure and an exhausting ordeal. Sometimes you leave your place of origin because the idea of your destination really excites you. Others, you flee your home base in search of a new heaven.
Regardless of the reason behind your journey, there are a couple of things that can make this 12 hour long international flight in coach a little more bearable. Just like you would pack a tote with some entertaining magazines, comfy socks, healthy snacks and a sheet mask before heading to the airport.
Here are five ways to help you prepare for your voyage into a new stage of your life.
Stay connected to your support system
One of the things I’ve struggled the most with when handling new beginnings, has been isolation. I am not proud to admit it, but until very recently, I used to ghost my friends and family whenever I started a new project in fear of exposing the ugly side of starting anew. As if by reaching out to the secure, I am proving myself that I am not emotionally strong enough to be doing it on the first place.
The truth is, we all need emotional support and guidance no matter your age, the reasons why you decided to make some changes in your life, or if things are going the way you expected or not. Reaching out to those who matter the most to you will instantly give you a sense of relief when you hit a bump in your new journey. And, hearing a familiar voice is a great way to keep the feelings of loneliness at bay when your new beginning is moving to a new city.
Find the best of something in your area
The best after work happy hour deals, the ultimate vintage store, comfiest coffee shop, hottest club , or a great new gym.
Making it your goal to find the best of something in your area will not only help you discover your new surroundings and expose you to new people; but it will also be a great conversation piece whenever you meet someone new. Asking for recommendations is a wonderful way to get people talking, and it’s a nice ego boost when you get to introduce a local to a hidden gem they didn’t know about. 😉
Start a gratitude list
I was extremely skeptical of gratitude lists until I found myself in a new city, unemployed, with limited resources, no friends, a broken heart, and far away from my family. At that time, it seemed like I could only focus on the negative.
It wasn’t until I started writing down things I was grateful for, that I slowly began seeing and appreciating the good. Thinking about all the wonderful things I already had, and having to actively look for the good in my everyday, really helped me not fall in a state of helplessness and hustle harder to reach my new goals.
Establish a routine to help you feel settled faster
There is nothing more unsettling than feeling restless because your new city, home, or current situation feels foreign to you. When you combine new surroundings with very strong emotions, it is only normal to feel as if there is no place in this new environment in which you belong. When the place you consider “home” is just so far away, you may start having trouble sleeping, eating, and restoring yourself after a full day of training at a new job, going out to meet new people, or simply getting to know your new neighborhood.
Establishing a routine can help ease your mind and make relaxing a breeze. You don’t have a plan every second of your day, but creating a morning or night routine can help you establish patterns that will make you feel in control of your situation and acclimated to your new life.
Try something different
New beginnings are the best excuse to explore those aspects of yourself you were always curious about, but never had the time or support to do so.
For example, if you were very active in the night life in your previous city and you always kinda wanted to check out what a book club would be like, go ahead and Facebook the heck out of your local book clubs until you find one that matches your taste! If you are an avid runner but were always intrigued by the latin rhythms of Zumba, go ahead and sign up for a trial class. There is no better time to explore and discover a new part of yourself.
I won’t lie – nothing can make a new beginning instantly comfortable; just like being bumped to business class wouldn’t make those 12 hours of sitting down disappear. But giving yourself the tools to handle the rough side of a new adventure can really help you enjoy the ride a little more.