Being in a relationship with someone who is trying to become a physician can often require you to live in several different places in a relatively short amount of time. While moving can be exciting and give you opportunities for new experiences, it can also be challenging to have to repeatedly leave friends behind and have to adjust to living in a new area. Here are a few tips to make the transitions a little easier.
Give yourself time to adjust
Change is hard and when we expect ourselves to have no problems adjusting to change, it can be even harder. It takes time to get to know a new place and to feel comfortable again in a new home, so it’s important to be patient with yourself. Even though you may have wanted to move to your new home, you may still have feelings of homesickness for your old friends, routines, and the feelings of belonging that can come from living in a place for an extended period of time. So be patient with yourself and don’t expect to comfortable right away, and understand that it’s perfectly normal if you’re alone on a Friday night because you haven’t made friends yet. It takes time to meet and get to know people, and even though it seems like you’ll never have the same level of friends you did in your last home, try to remember that you didn’t gather all your friends in one day in your last home either.
Try to explore as much as possible
The more you get used to your new city, the sooner it will feel like home and not so scary. Part of the scariness is the unknown, so as you explore and figure out where things are, your new city will seem less daunting because you’ll know what’s actually out there. It can also help to pretend like you are a tourist and to visit all the best parts of your city first to really appreciate it. Another thing that may help is taking a short trip or going on vacation soon after you move so that your new home will feel even more like “home” when you come back to your own space with all of your belongings.
Get to know your spouse’s coworkers and their spouses
Again, this can take time, but it can be important to build up your medical community again and get to know other people who understand what you’re going through. Going to work parties and other events can help you get to know your spouse’s coworkers and their families so you don’t feel so alone. A lot of medical schools and residency programs also have organized groups specifically for the spouse’s of doctors that you can join to expand your medical network even further.
Practice positive thinking
Remember that even though change is hard, eventually it won’t feel like change anymore and you can get back to being comfortable in your city. But until those adjustments come, try to focus on the good: the blessing of getting into medical school or your spouse having a job, allowing you to be able to afford the things you need. You can also appreciate the chance for a fresh start and new opportunities and learn from mistakes you may have made in your last city. When you move you can start over in a new job and with new friends and even get involved in new interests or hobbies. If you focus on the change as a positive full of possibilities instead of a negative, you’ll likely be able to make a smoother transition and have more fulfillment in your new home.
By Hannah McKay – Married to Doctors Contributor