Moving to a new town can be daunting. Whether for work or personal reasons, these moves can interrupt many of the connections you've built within your neighborhood, community and schools. Each move across the states or even to a new country means starting all over again.
While it can seem next to impossible to go out and meet new people in the midst of a stressful move, doing so is important. Forging new connections helps ease the transition and establish a foundation of support. The next time you're on the move to a new place, consider these tips:
It's normal to feel overwhelmed by the gravity of a big move, a new home and unfamiliar surroundings. Not knowing anyone within your military living community can be daunting as well. While the most important thing you can do when moving to a new place is to get outside, it's O.K. to start small. Though you'll certainly be tempted to remain cozy and content within the safety of your home, even a short walk around your new neighborhood can do you good, explained Military OneSource.
Taking a walk provides you with the opportunity to meet a person or two in passing, which is less daunting than trying to introduce yourself to too many people at one time. Similarly, don't feel as though you need to join every group all at once – unless you're up for that, of course. Take your time and listen to your instincts.
If you're looking for a way to feel needed or useful in the first few weeks of adjusting, there is nothing better than putting your energy into volunteering. As Military OneSource explained, military programs and local charities are always in need of people and their time. Giving back is a great way to help others while also creating new relationships with fellow volunteers and those less fortunate. Having a weekly program or group that you give back to can provide you with a sense of purpose. Consider reaching out to your installation's family support center to find more information.
Get involved with community events
In addition to attending local services, going to the library or joining gym, each of these establishments has their own community and with it, their own social calendar, explained Homeland Magazine. All of these places offer great opportunities to spend more time doing what you love, all while making new friends along the way. From bake sales to lectures, field trips to fundraisers and everything in between, these local institutions are the place to be when your little ones are at school during the day.
Most likely, there will be others just like you who are looking to forge new relationships. Be open and approachable and chances are you'll soon be looking forward to your weekly baking class.
Maintain current and past relationships
After so many moves and new homes, it can be easy to write off making any new relationships for fear of having to one day up and leave again. However, keeping these friendships is more important than ever. While you'll continue to make new friends, keeping in touch with that one neighbor from San Diego who always has the best advice and your lifelong childhood friend you can always count on is crucial – no matter where in the world you are.
Take care of yourself
During a move to a new installation, the bulk of the stress and responsibility falls on you as parents. After all of the chaos and commotion, the packing and unpacking and the paperwork has come to an end, there is often an emotional crash that takes place, explained blog The Military Wife and Mom. This is when it's important to stop, slow down and take care of yourself. The only way to rejuvenate your mental, emotional and physical health is through rest and relaxation.
Fill your early days with things that bring you peace so that once you get your footing, you're ready to dive in to creating these new connections.