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Getting Settled

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You've arrived, unpacked and begun to settle in. Perhaps many of your arrangements have been made - schools have been selected for your kids, your new house or apartment is set up - but that doesn't quite make it home…yet.
How long that takes depends much on your circumstances. Do you have relatives in the area, a company "work family," or memories of time spent nearby as a child? These factors lend a comforting sense of familiarity, even if you've just arrived. Or perhaps you feel like I did arriving in San Francisco, 8 years ago, with a job lead and two college friends in the city. I must admit it's taken me years, but I can now say that I feel at home.
Home, as you know, is about people as much as anything, and relationships with friends, neighbors, teachers and grocery store owners.
Relocating is stressful, and part of that has less to do with the boxes and arrangement than the new relationships you'll need to make…and, well…that feeling of "home" that only time can deliver. So be patient, but be active!
Is there a way to fertilize the soil a bit and get those taproots growing? Consider these tips:
 - Push yourself slightly beyond your basic comfort level. Coach yourself each week to do something you wouldn't naturally do. This may be as simple as deciding to walk your dog every morning in a park crowded with pet owners instead of along lonely streets.
 - Community service and volunteerism may be one of the best ways to create meaningful new ties. You should be able to find opportunities through local community centers or gardens, your job, churches, or schools, or online.
 - Join a club! Try salsa dancing, rock climbing, or chess. You name it! Try to find affinity groups in your area. Immediately resume one or two activities you did before moving. You'll meet people with common interests right off the bat!
 - Find a common-interest support network. If you have kids, look for a "young families" group. Do you have a health condition? Try a local hospital for weekly support groups. Interested in Religious or faith traditions? Start looking for a new church and find your community now.
 - Call someone new. If you have a friend who knows someone in your new town, call them. Take them to coffee and ask them to tell you about the place.
 - Buy a map and start exploring. Or just get on a bus and let yourself be driven around. Seeing your new place is fun and right away gives you something in common with other people. And you'll start developing your favorite haunts - a true sign of home!
 - This is a great time to start something totally new. Always wanted to take a cooking class? Go for it! Take advantage of the new adventures and possibilities. You'll meet friends with common interests along the way.
And a final note on relocating: Barb Ratcliffe, Senior Certified Relocation Professional, says that in moving, "the psychological aspects are often underestimated…"
"In my years in the industry I've had the opportunity to work with lots and lots of transferring families. And I don't think people allow themselves the slack to deal with the emotions. Mostly what people need to do is acknowledge what they're going through to themselves."
Hey - that's good advice too!
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