Settling in to anything new is scary, because it’s change and we know that change makes us nervous (and excited), but it’s made easier when you know some tips for adapting to a new environment. A new environment might mean a new job, a new school, a new rental share, or moving in with your partner. It doesn’t really matter which because they all, in one way or other, have the tendency to cause us nerves, stress and trepidation, and that’s why it’s possible to generalize how to adapt to a new environment.
1. Find Something Familiar to Focus on That Keeps You Grounded
Just because your environment changes does not mean every aspect of your life has to change with it. Once you settle in to a new environment, you will develop a routine and you will no doubt discover that some aspects of that routine are similar to your old routine. Focusing on this familiarity will still give you that connection to your former situation while transitioning and adapting to a new environment. Think of it like a security blanket that gives you that safe and calm feeling while you go through something new.
2. Take What is Familiar and Find a Way to Incorporate It into Your New Routine or Environment
If you do not notice any similarities in your new environment, choose something that you truly loved and find a way to add it into your new routine. It can be something as trivial as a midday tea break or a phone call to a friend. Just because your environment or routine changes does not mean you cannot include some old habits—as long as they are good for you, of course.
3. Develop a New Routine and Keep at It Long Enough so It Becomes Second Nature and Familiar
If you move to a new city or town, it is difficult to get your bearings right off the bat. One of the best ways to adapt to a new environment is to start a routine and keep at it for a few weeks until it becomes your new norm. So instead of always trying a new café every morning for your cup of coffee or going different routes every time you come home from work, stick with the same thing. Just having one or two things that are consistently regular in your daily life will make you feel a lot more grounded and comfortable in your new surroundings.
4. Do Not Shy Away from Tackling New Ground and Forming New Routines
You need to accept the fact that your life is going to include some major changes. You can accept it and figure out how to adapt to a new environment or you can let it be your undoing. Sometimes settling into a new routine gives you an opportunity to restart your life in a new, and hopefully better direction. Do not be shy to try different things, go to different places and be open minded when it comes to something that you are unsure about. Remember—nothing ventured, nothing gained.
5. Embrace the Unknown
It is only natural to fear what you do not know. This is part of human nature and is no reason to hide from the world or cower in the corner. If you truly want to settle into a new environment, you need to embrace the unknown as if it is an adventure that you have no idea where it will lead you, but it is worth every minute spent on the ride there.
6. Change Your Goals or Develop New Ones
Sometimes one of the best ways to adapt to a new environment is to have a goal that keeps your focus and attention that your life is going through some big changes. By having a goal, whether it is a new one or an existing one that you have not quite met yet, this steady focus and determination will keep your mind occupied with what is ahead rather than what you may have left behind. Having something to reach for will redirect your attention and keep you from worrying and stressing about these changes.
7. Find Something That Helps You Deal with the Stress You May Experience
No one goes through any life changes without a little stress. Even if you do not feel stressed, you are still trying to accept and settle into something new; a new routine and a new way of life. Try doing something that is completely enjoyable and relaxing, whether it is yoga, photography, sewing or joining a local book club. Time spent doing something you truly enjoy means less time stressing about everything else.
Adapting to a new environment is more about a positive attitude than anything. If it’s your decision for change, see it as your next great adventure. If the change has been forced upon you, make it easier to settle in by accepting that the change is going to happen so you might as well do everything you can to make it easier to deal with. How do you deal with this kind of challenge? Do you embrace change easily and greedily or are you a dip your toe in the water first and take a while to start swimming kinda gal?