safe and familiar

Settle into the New

As I head over to my desk to write, I call to one of my cats, Kaya, to tell her it’s time for work. When I do this, she’ll often follow me over and jump up on a small ottoman (aka her office chair) and settle in next to me.

Last week I wrote about dealing with change by intentionally looking for the positives in the new situation; by identifying things to look forward to. Another technique I find incredibly helpful is making the unfamiliar, and familiar

As we settle into our new, little apartment downtown, we’re arranging things similarly to how they were in our house. While there’s no way we can make it identical given the smaller space we’re in now and the different layout, we can select favorite pieces to display right away so our new place rises up to meet us in the same way.

Having Kaya’s ottoman next to my office chair is just one of those familiar things helping me settle into our new space. Other ways I’m helping Little Kerri make the transition are:

  • Staying steadfast in my exercise commitment, both with the usual activities, but also exploring walking in my new neighborhood
  • Cooking familiar meals
  • Surrounding myself with my favorite artwork and home decor items
  • Burning my favorite incense or candle

Let’s say you’ve just started a new job. What items can you put on your desk that make you feel at home? Do you have a favorite pen? Photograph? Desk calendar?

Maybe you’ve recently relocated to a new town or state. Make it a priority to find your nearest market or grocery store, gym, or park, so you can get into a familiar routine sooner than later. Also, fill your home with the items you love so they can welcome you each time you come in the door.

Change is the only constant in life, and familiar items, routines, and rituals can really help you feel safe and grounded.

So I’m curious. What type of change are you facing now? How can you make the unfamiliar, familiar? Join the conversation in the comments below.

Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.

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