It’s not uncommon for professionals to invest in their careers by moving cities, states, or even countries. Sometimes that means moving away from friends and family. Coping with the loneliness of moving to a new place and having to rebuild your social network is hard, but there are things you can do to make it easier. Here are several tips on how to cope and thrive in a new environment.
Stay Connected with Folks Back Home
Making time to connect with friends and family makes a difference. People need people, and moving to a new place can be very hard to navigate emotionally. The people who provided you emotional and social support in your old community, can help you fight off loneliness while you are getting settled in a new location. Plan a reoccurring phone call or try out some of the newly popular video calling platforms to stay connected with your old social support structure.
Make Some Work Friends
Having good co-worker relationships and a good work-life balance can do wonders to relieve feelings of loneliness. Many people in all industries, no matter their home situation, struggle with feelings of loneliness in their daily lives. Surveys have found that those who were new on a job were much more lonely than those who had been at the job for many years, likely reflecting relationships the employee had built over time. Loneliness can not only be detrimental to personal well-being but harmful to a worker’s productivity. Those who overlook the importance of work friendships or look down on those willing to invest the time or effort in building those relationships, inevitably suffer from their lack. Work friendships are wonderful sources of fun and connectivity at the place where we spend a large portion of our time.
Get Out In Your Community
Professional organizations and volunteering are a great way to establish yourself socially and emotionally within a new place. Community organizations can be a great resource for making connections. We really can each benefit from meeting and engaging with people from different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Consider joining a civic group, such as Kiwanis or Lions, or a volunteer-driven organization like Habitat for Humanity or Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America. You should focus on sharing your expertise to build your network and make new friends.
Take a Class
Interested in learning a new skill? Sign up for a class. Whether you are interested in taking on a new hobby or taking your career in a different direction, the classroom is a natural place to connect with other people with shared interests. You could find yourself rubbing elbows with any number of people in a very natural and conversational venue. Plus, taking a class gives you the obvious benefit of learning something new at the same time that you’re able to socialize.
Refresh an Old Hobby
Combat loneliness by leveraging old interests and skills. Join a club or team to stay active socially but limit the pressure of having to pick up a new skill or ability. Recreational sports are a great way to stay active and keep yourself social. If you’ve put aside an old hobby due to lack of time, now is the perfect time to be intentional and make it a part of your daily life again. Find ways to connect with new people in a low-pressure and still fun, activity-based social setting by leveraging the things you are already interested in doing. Just do it with other people to help fight off loneliness.
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