Making A New Start In A New City

new startMaking A New Start In A New City

The prospect of moving to a new city is always scary at first, which is probably why almost 72% of Americans live in or close to the city where they grew up. It only gets more daunting for adult survivors of child abuse who can find starting new things especially challenging due to many of the emotional consequences they often have to deal with. However, starting over fresh can be an incredibly liberating and worthwhile experience, offering many survivors the chance to make more positive memories somewhere new. Sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of guidance to make the process as pain-free as possible.

Finding Community

One of the quickest ways to get settled in a new city is for newcomers to find their place in the local community – this could be as simple as signing up to the doctors, or starting a new job. However, for the many adult survivors that struggle with low self-esteem, it can feel harder to embark on new relationships, career paths, and get healthcare. It may seem daunting at first – just like starting at a new school, but small actions such as making themselves known at work and around where they live can make a big difference. Those that will be starting a new job in their new city should try and push themselves to attend work outings to bond with their coworkers. While those that won’t be going straight into work could volunteer at local events.

Reducing Stress For Those Moving With Kids

For those that are planning to move to a new place with kids, there are ways to keep stress to an absolute minimum. It can be hard for kids to leave their familiar surroundings, teachers, and friends and be forced to start afresh. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone won’t be better off in the long-run. The lack of control over their fate is often at the center of a child’s worry when moving, so parents should aim to provide them with as much control as possible. Let them pick their bedroom and new hobbies, while also keeping as much of their routine the same as before, and never failing to ask how you can help. 

Seek Outlets for Healing In The City

The plethora of emotions that impact the day-to-day lives of survivors, such as guilt, shame, and blame, could intensify under the short-term pressures of the move. Therefore, it is important that survivors prioritize finding an outlet for healing in their new city. They can use the internet, social media, or look out for bulletins in their local community centers to find out about the various art classes, poetry readings, and community gardening sessions available. They could also consider the types of healing practices they can do at their new home, such as mindful meditation. One 2014 study amongst adult female victims of childhood maltreatment found that regular mindful meditation helped significantly with regulating emotions. Meanwhile, one Finland-based study into the benefits of music on trauma patients found there was over 50% improvement in depression symptoms.

Make It Fun

Take the nerves out of the first week of the move by treating it as a vacation. Acting like a tourist and planning out days to explore and enjoy everything the new city has to offer will not only help newcomers gain a new sense of hometown pride, find new favorite places, but also help them get their bearings. Furthermore, finding the closest grocery stores, markets, and coffee shops to home and going there frequently can help new residents become familiar faces in no time.

Although relocating can be an overwhelming undertaking, especially for survivors, placing fun and happiness at the forefront of the process makes it so much easier. The quicker new residents get immersed into their new community, the quicker they will start to feel at home – and hopefully this article showed that this doesn’t have to be such a nerve-wracking experience.

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