• Andre Humphrey

Adjusting To Life In The United States

Updated: Sep 23

Adjusting To Life In The United States: 4 Ways To Build Strong Connections And Stay Connected To Those Back Home

Relocating to a new country is a massive undertaking. Between the logistics of becoming a citizen and learning a whole new set of regulations and customs, the learning curve is incredibly steep. While there is plenty of information available online about how to take care of tasks like these, there is less written about how to most effectively connect with your new community. This is also true when trying to find information on how to stay connected with loved ones who are still living in your home country.

If you’ve been in search of ways to find deep connection and purpose within your local area, as well as ways to keep in touch with family and friends back home, explore these tips from Inner City Bliss.

Start meeting regularly with groups in your community

Hands down, the best strategy that one can use to connect with their local community is to get involved with groups that meet regularly. No matter what your interests or beliefs are, there is something for everyone in almost every city across America. Ideas include attending church, volunteering for a nonprofit organization, attending an Inner City Bliss yoga class, taking a class to learn a new skill, or meeting up with neighbors. To meet as many people as you can, it is best to sign up for multiple groups at one time.

Meeting with the same individuals on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis is a great way to learn about the area, and to develop meaningful relationships with like-minded individuals.

Find reliable ways to start or continue supporting family at home

Before moving, did you previously provide support to one or more family members? Was one of the motivators in moving to the United States the income that you can send back home? If so, it is critical to find a reliable way to continue (or start) this financial support as soon as you can.

One way to support family members in your home country is to start your own business, whether you’re opening your own restaurant or setting up a freelancing business. If you’re going this route, you’ll need to register your business in the state you reside in and choose an entity. Many new business owners favor registering as an LLC because this entity offers tax benefits, reduced paperwork, and protection from litigation. The easiest way to form an LLC is to use a formation service.

Strive to build close friendships

Having several close friendships is essential for preserving mental health, and for keeping feelings of loneliness at bay. If you do not yet know anyone in your local area, make efforts to build close, lasting friendships with those you meet. Although it can be anxiety-provoking to put yourself out there, close relationships are incredibly valuable to have.

After attending several community groups or organizations for several weeks, invite one or two people you are closest with to coffee or for another fun outing. Spending one-on-one time with people is a great way to develop trust, and to become connected on a deeper level.

Set up regular times to call, video chat, and visit family back home

Even after you’ve gotten close with others and have built strong friendships, you will undoubtedly miss family and friends back home. Make it a priority to call or video chat with the individuals you are closest with on a regular basis. Set up times that work best for everyone (especially if there is a significant time difference), and don’t skip these calls/video chats.

Additionally, if time and money permit, make plans to visit your family and friends when you can. Having a specific time to go back home to visit everyone you love can be immensely life-giving and motivating during any challenging times you may experience.

Getting used to life in a brand new country is full of ups and downs. Being proactive about making new connections and friendships, and staying in touch with those back home, can make the adjustment process far easier.

By April Meyers | Mind Body Health Solution

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