How to Manage Stress With a New Job in a New City

Moving to a New City for Work Is Stressful. Here’s How to Cope

Eventually in your career, you may be met with a lucrative opportunity—a new job in a new city. You may be taking on a new role within the same company, or may be hired by a different employer altogether. Either way, this is an exciting time; you may have better pay, better perks, and the chance to build a new life. But at the same time, it’s going to be massively stressful.

Key Points of Stress

If you’re going to manage your stress successfully, you need to know exactly where it comes from. There are three main points to consider here:

  • Moving woes. Moving to a new place is stressful for its own set of reasons. You might be worried about coordinating your move so you can start your job on time, your personal possessions will be in transit, and your house may not have much in the way of furniture or comforts to put you at ease when you get off work. That’s why it’s a good idea to make a moving checklist so you can keep track of everything. 
  • Lack of familiarity. You’re also going to be unfamiliar with pretty much everything. Your new house isn’t going to feel like home. The bars, restaurants, and cafes you use to enjoy will no longer be waiting for you. Even your job is going to seem alien. That combination of unfamiliarity is stressful by itself, and it also robs you of some of the most stress-relieving aspects of your previous life.
  • New responsibilities. The new responsibilities you face at work can also put you at unease; if you’ve received a promotion, you might be faced with more work than you’re used to. Even if not, you’ll be working with a new team, a new supervisor, and a totally new work culture.

Ultimately, this results in stress in both your personal and professional life, with none of the outlets you used to have.

Strategies to Manage Stress

Fortunately, there are some strategies that can make things easier—or at least more manageable:

  • Get your house set up with the right services and comforts. One of your first priorities should be making your house as comfortable as possible. This is your refuge and should make you feel welcome and safe after a hard day of work. Once your house feels like a home, everything else will get much easier. Find the right cable provider, a good internet provider, and of course, your basic utilities, then set up at least one room with the furniture you need to relax.
  • Stay in touch with your friends and family back home. It will be some time before you make new friends in this city, so in the meantime, don’t be afraid to lean on your friends and family back home. Thanks to modern technology, it’s easy to stay in touch, but you might have to be the one to reach out. Make the call, set up the video chat, and talk about whatever it is that’s been stressing you the most.
  • Establish a familiar location. We tend to like things more once they’re familiar to us, even if they don’t seem initially very attractive. That’s why it’s important for you to establish at least one “familiar” location in your new routine. For example, you might head to the gym after work every day, or hit up the same coffee shop every Saturday morning. The more time you spend at these locations, the more “at home” you’ll feel in the city—and you’ll probably make some new friends while you’re at it.
  • Don’t take on too many responsibilities at once. At your new job, you might be tempted to take on lots of work in an effort to impress your new bosses and teammates. However, it’s usually better to ease your way into your new responsibilities. If you can, keep your workload limited in your first couple of weeks and focus on acclimating to your new environment. The workload can come later.
  • Take on more stress-relieving hobbies. To compensate for the extra stress you’re facing, take on some extra stress-relieving hobbies (and preferably, healthy ones). For example, you might spend more time working out at the gym or go for hikes in a local park. Social activities also work well here, such as board gaming or crafting.

These strategies may not be able to reduce your stress to zero, but they will provide you with a more comfortable learning curve as you get used to your new position in your new city. It’s going to take time to complete that transition, no matter what advantages or coping strategies you have, so try to remain patient. It will all get much easier in a few weeks to a few months.