Moving to a new home means having to familiarize yourself to the new neighborhood and your new neighbors. Some families love to welcome their next-door neighbors, while others just can’t stand the anticipation and anxiety of wondering what kind of neighbors they have, especially when they had a very harmonious relationship with their past neighbors. Your kids might be hesitant to play outside and call out the kids in the next home because they’re afraid they might be rejected. You and your spouse aren’t too eager to invite the couples near you – maybe they’re not like the ones they had before they moved.
“It’s ‘normal’ to experience some degree of anxiety when stressors are unfamiliar, unpredictable, or imminent.” Marla W. Deibler, PsyD said. So how do you help your family get settled into your new home and your new neighborhood? Here are some time-efficient guidelines to help you ease up, relax, and successfully adapt to your new community.
Be Acquainted With Your Neighbors
It’s natural to wonder who your new neighbors are when you move into a new city, neighborhood, or even into a new building. Usually, you don’t make the effort of introducing yourself to these new people, and you just leave it all to chance. It’s because we are often busy settling in, arranging our things, enrolling the kids to the new school, and so on. But it is important to note that getting acquainted with your neighbors offers you and your family a safe and secure community, one wherein different kinds of people living in one place look out for each other. It’s also a wonderful way of establishing new but lasting friendships. Besides, David Klow, a licensed therapist used to say, “By building a list of people that you trust, with whom you can talk to in times of need, you allow yourself a strong sense of not being alone.”
Organize A Housewarming Party
Just a few days since you’ve moved, you probably won’t think about organizing any kind of party, but perhaps you should reconsider. After unpacking a few things and maybe arranging the living room, kitchen, and deck gather your nerves and a little enthusiasm to invite some neighbors that are within the vicinity. It’s a good way to meet new people while making way for adjusting to the different personalities, familiarizing yourself with the highlights and festivities in your community. Make it simple so that they won’t think you’re a show-off. If you want, you can even ask them to bring their chairs or glasses.
Engage In Conversations
Despite having successfully invited your new neighbors over, most new families still don’t find it easy to loosen up and relax when they’re with them. Some are anxious and scared of rejection, while others are thinking about their privacy. So while you’re serving snacks and drinks to your new neighbors, observe their interests and their dislikes, and ease your way with by engaging in simple conversations, like where they spend their weekends, or if they have family get-togethers in the community, or where their kids go to school. Share some parts of yourself and don’t look like you’re too nosy.
Tour Around Your Community
When you’ve spent a week or two unpacking, cleaning up, and organizing your home, you should get out and free yourself from the stress. Check out your new community – the church, playground, museums, libraries, grocery stores, and hospitals. You can stop for home supplies while touring the surrounding landmarks. It’ll help you learn more about your new place and feel more comfortable with the new environment.
Help Your Kids Get Settled In
Children need help getting acquainted with a new home, especially if they have close friends in their previous neighborhood. Make it easier for them by getting them involved in community activities. Attend community meetings together so your children will have the opportunity to meet new playmates. Find people who can help you learn more about their school. If there are activities that need the kids to volunteer, let them join in. This way, they develop their social skills and increase their self-esteem. Allow them also to learn on their own when it comes to choosing their friends. Do not be too protective but just be there to guide them along the way.
It does take a little time to settle in and feel at home in a new home and community. And it does take some patience, versatility, and effort to be acclimated to all the new things in front of you, but you need to. As explained by Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC “We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.” Encourage your family to feel more at home every day. Gradually, you’ll realize that you successfully settled in, made new friends, and embraced the new community that you’re blessed with.