Tips to relieve the stress of moving far from family and friends

Peace restaurant sign at the Okinawa Southeast Botanical Gardens

I'm not gonna lie. Living far away from the people you care about is hard. Really hard. In some cases, you may be just two time zones away. In others, there are whole oceans that separate you. The dread of being away from loved ones and fear of missing out can be seriously crippling and affect every single decision you make. What's at stake, though, is the ability to broaden your horizons, to discover who you really are by breaking out of your comfort zone, and to pursue what happiness truly means for you. I'm not saying you should throw all your relationships to the side to be selfish for a while...Okay, a little bit. I'm saying that in the narrowest sense. The real truth of it, though, is that you need to find the intersection between making a life that's meaningful for yourself no matter where that is and establishing the means to stay connected with others on your own terms. How do you that? 

Start by evaluating your relationships. 

Which ones are incredibly valuable to you? Which are the ones that you would feel empty without because they bring you joy, love, knowledge, or whatever it is that you need? By getting to the heart of how people actually affect your life, you take stock of the truly important people that are critical to your wellbeing. Those are the ones that you need to pay the most attention to as consider moving away. Make sure you have a good conversation with those people about what they're worried about, how you can answer any questions they have about your move, and to just give them an idea of where you'll actually be living. Sometimes our loved ones just need to know that we're in a good place and well taken care of wherever we are.

Create a support network to be your cheerleaders.

Having people that understand your need to move away will give you confidence and propel you forward. Find the positive people in your life that can be a support network for you in this journey. You want to connect with them on a level that will allow you to share your struggles as well as excitement about your move. It'll be a relief to have someone who will still be in your corner no matter where you go. Be proactive in talking to them about the importance of your relationship and how they can help ease your transition.

Set up a plan to stay connected.

Once you know where you'll be headed, determine the different ways you can still talk with the people you love. Make a quick reference chart for time differences and plan out specific times that you'll regularly check in with each other. Technology makes this so easy these days with Skype, Facetime, and even just email. Be sure to give some of them a test run before you go. This will help your family and friends to understand how connecting will really feel from far away before you have even left. You'll get to talk about what works and what doesn't and get into a groove of what's right for all of you. If it's missing out on an event that you're worried about, ask someone to take a video of it or have you on Skype while there. You'll still feel like you're getting to be part of it even though it is from miles away. 

Figure out what you would regret if you did not move away and focus your attention on achieving it.

You owe it to yourself to fulfill your dreams. If part of your dream includes moving somewhere else, then that's what you need to focus your energy on to bring happiness into your life. Ditch the feeling sorry for yourself about missing everything or being lonely, and think about the amazing opportunity that you have.  If you try and it doesn't work out, at least you'll know that you didn't let anything or anyone hold you back. When you put yourself out there, that's the only way you can truly live without regret.

Flowers at the Okinawa Southeast Botanical Gardens
Kristen King3 Comments