5 Tips for Surviving the Start of a New Life Chapter
Let's get this out of the way... starting over is scary! Change isn't easy and the idea of starting over or trying something new is one of the biggest fears that holds people back in their lives. We like being comfortable and there is nothing comfortable about blowing up your life. It's hard. And the process doesn't stop being tough after the decision process.
Something I've been working on a lot over the last 6 months is being more transparent and authentic in both my business and personal life. It's definitely not something that comes easily -- it's muchhh easier to share and write about the lighter things in life. I think there is a lot of value in getting real about our stories though and if my experiences can inspire or help others then it will make putting myself out there totally worth it! So today I'm staying true to that commitment and digging into some of the things that have helped me in my personal journey of starting over.
Embracing Help & Support from Friends and Family
Confession, while I LOVE my family and am so thankful for them -- they are the main reason why I decided to move home after all -- I've struggled a lot with moving in with my parents. I totally understand this is overly dramatic, but the idea of moving in with my parents truly felt like the end of the world. I never moved home after college and I was really proud of that. So the idea of moving in with my mom after being on my own for a decade had me like.. 😱😱😱. But guess what? It wasn't the end of the world, and it's a decision I'm really happy I made. Sure, I could have found another apartment right away, but 1.) between making decisions and sorting out this cross-country move, my head and bank account were ready to explode and 2.) after such a BIG change I think internally I knew I really needed to get back to my roots and be really close to my support system.
That being said, if you are lucky enough to have family or friends you can stay with for a bit while you sort out some of the other details, put your pride aside and embrace it. Even if you aren't physically moving in with them, take them up on whatever support they're offering. Regular girls nights, weekly calls, whatever it may be, take them up on it. They want the best for you and being around your support system will really help during this time. I know if I had my own place right away it would have been so easy for me to embrace being a homebody for a while and hide behind my work, but being at home hasn't allowed me to do that. Instead, I've been forced to get out and about and keep my schedule busy, which has been much more beneficial than if I had distanced myself from others at this time.
Switch up your Routine
This has been a BIG one for me! I credit switching up my routine with being one of the things that has helped me the most. Obviously you can't change everyyything, but I definitely recommend switching up what you can. My mom lives 5 mins away from a local hike, and something that I've really enjoyed is adding hiking to my routine 3 days a week. I mentioned it in an earlier post, but there is also something very therapeutic about getting your butt kicked while climbing to the top of a mountain. Plus, it's something I couldn't do in the city, so it has been a nice change and given me some dedicated alone time.
Now that I'm on the west coast, my work schedule has shifted as well. I'm not sure that one is for the better 😜. Because my business partner is on the east coast, as with a lot of our clients I decided to adopt an east coast work schedule as well. I wonder if that was a good decision every time my alarm goes off in the dark at 5:30 a.m., but I'm making it work. The good thing about this schedule is it has freed up my afternoons. When I lived in NYC, I got really bad about working all day.. taking a little break.. and then working some more at night. Since moving back though, I've been working really hard at unplugging at night to actually give myself a little break and time to enjoy life a little.
Not only have both of these changes been good for my health and well-being, but it's been helpful in feeling like this new chapter, really is a new chapter. If you're going to make some big changes, might as well go all in right?!
Say Yes to Exploring & Trying New Things
Since I moved, I feel like my social calendar has exploded. Which sounds funny since, hiii I used to live in NYC, and my schedule explodes after moving back to a small town? Ha, I know, I know. Part of it is I've just been really excited to try new things that I wasn't able to do in New York and the other is I've just been saying yes to all of the things.
I've always liked a good adventure, but at the same time, I'm also someone who appreciates having some downtime. I'm sure things will settle down in a few months, but for the time being I've put that homebody trait on the shelf. Like, I legit haven't had a free weekend since June.. which has been both thrilling and exhausting at the same time. I will say though, keeping busy and trying new things have been KEY in this process so I absolutely encourage you do the same if you have the opportunity. Get out there and try a new restaurant, reconnect with friends, and check out new spots you haven't been before. I mean guys, I went to a Renaissance Fair this summer... it doesn't get much more different than NYC than that 😂.
Get Your Goals Straight & Write Them Down
When you're starting over there is SO much to process. While your "big picture" goals may be at top of mind, chances are you've been so busy dealing with the logistics of blowing your life up, that sorting through some of the smaller details have slipped behind. Once you've had a chance to settle in a little it's a great time to really lay everything out. What direction do you want to head in now and how are you going to get there? I felt like I was treading water the first month or so I was back so once I had a chance to sit down and dedicate some time to my goals I felt like a brand new person. This process might not be as big of a deal to some of you, but for me I'm someone who really likes to sit down, make plans, and write everything down. Regardless of your process, take some time to check-in and get connected to the direction you want to head.
Have Patience With Yourself
And last but definitely not least... be patient with yourself. Starting over or making any big life changes.. is A LOT emotionally. You'll have days where you're so happy you made the change and then you'll have others where you'll wonder if you did the right thing. It can be a really confusing time and sometimes you'll just feel like a total mess. You'll be excited, you'll be scared, and some days you'll just cry your eyes out.
I'm guilty of being someone who likes to brush things under the rug or just avoid thinking about things because it hurts, and something I've really tried to take on this time around is giving myself permission to feel all of those feelings. I won't sugarcoat it either, it's been hard. Something that I've really struggled with this time around too is it has been entirely self-inflicted. While moving back to Washington was always in the back of my mind, I had a good life in NYC. My life didn't suck, so processing everything that goes a long with that has been tricky. Regardless of how you're feeling though, allow yourself some time to really think about things and experience that because it will help you in the long run. If there's something I've realized in doing so, it is that it's okay to both enjoy the start of a new chapter and long for your last one at the same time. It won't always make sense, but I think being really honest with yourself about that is important.
I hope this has been helpful to some of you or at least given you a little more insight into my ongoing journey! If you have any other tips that could be useful, feel free to share in the comments.