Navigating Culture Shock: Adjusting to Life in a New City


People who relocate, especially those who move to another state or country, have different reactions to the changes in their environment and their lives. In most cases, they go through an adjustment period known as “culture shock” which happens in different stages.

No matter the size or distance of the move, people who relocate have different experiences before, during, and after the move.

Whilst some people are able to quickly settle down, there are those who take much longer to adjust and are overwhelmed by the changes around them. A lot of people who move to another state or country (and sometimes those who move to a new city) experience culture shock.

What Is Culture Shock?


Culture shock refers to feelings of anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty that people experience after moving to a new location or after experiencing major changes in one’s surroundings or routine. It is a normal occurrence resulting from being an in unfamiliar environment.

Culture shock is not just experienced by those who are relocating to a new home. It is also experienced by those who study or travel abroad as they are not familiar with the language, local customs, food, values, and weather.

These may seem insignificant on a normal day, but they can greatly affect someone differently, especially if they have no one to share their thoughts with or someone who can guide them through the change.

It also has different stages, namely the honeymoon phase, frustration phase, adaption phase, and acceptance phase.

Whether you’re relocating with the help of a professional removalist to reduce the stress of moving or you’re moving on your own, there are plenty of things that you can do to adjust to the changes with ease. Here are some of them:

Do Your Research

One of the best ways to prepare for the upcoming change is to gather information about the place. Even if you don’t have enough time to do thorough research, learning some basic information about the place you’re moving to can help manage your expectations. This will also help you to prepare for the changes and plan ahead on how you will adapt or adjust to upcoming changes.

Accept That There Will Be Changes and It Will Take Time to Adapt


Once the excitement of being in a new place fades or after you’re no longer preoccupied with moving-related tasks which keep you from noticing the changes in your environment, you may start noticing the changes and how it is affecting your routine.

Keep in mind that settling in and adapting to such changes will take time and you don’t have to pressure yourself to accept and adjust to your new situation. If you are unable to do things at a certain pace like before, know that is normal, especially if you’ve recently moved.

Learn the Language and Culture by Interacting With Locals

If you’re moving to a new city or country where the language is different from your own, make an effort to learn the language or some basic phrases to help you communicate with locals.

It is not always required, but it is beneficial since it makes it easier to navigate through day-to-day tasks, especially when reading instructions and signs. It will also help you in conversing with locals to ask for crucial information and learn more about the life and culture of your new city.

Start a New Hobby


Adjusting to life in a new city is challenging, especially if everything in your new home completely differs from the life you enjoyed in your previous home. Many experts suggest that getting back to your routine will make it easier for you to adjust to your new life.

Since adjusting your routine is almost inevitable due to the different environments and situations you encounter in your new city, this is an ideal opportunity to start a new hobby. Whether you’re moving to a bigger city or a rural area, every location has something unique to offer.

Before moving or as you adjust, consider finding a hobby that is only possible in your new home. Explore lots of places and try different activities until you find something that suits your taste.

Take a Break

When things get overwhelming, take a break. You may not feel it immediately, but the stress of moving and adapting to your new life might take its toll on your physical and mental health. It might be impossible to avoid such situations, but you can always take a breather when you feel overwhelmed.

Whether it’s a short walk in a nearby park or going on a vacation for the weekend, it’s important that you have an activity to fall back on that will clear your mind and help you calm down. It may sound counter-productive, but taking breaks is essential in helping you get used to your new situation and enjoy the changes in the future.

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