It is tough to move out and leave ‘the nest’ for the first time. If you’re having a hard time packing your bags and saying your goodbyes, there are ways to make the parting of ways a little easier!
Here are some tips on how to move out of your parents’ home without being an emotional wreck:
Identify the Cause
It’s good to get to the bottom of what you are feeling so you can take the necessary steps to lessen the emotional distress. Why do you feel so sad about moving out of your parents’?
There are many potential reasons why you may be feeling out of sorts. Maybe you are worried about living on your own. Maybe you are nervous about moving into a new apartment or dorm room with a roommate you don’t know. Perhaps you will simply miss your parents, and that’s okay! Whatever the reason is for feeling the way you feel, it’s a good first step to identify the cause and confront your feelings.
As banking legend J.P. Morgan says, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.”
Have a Plan
Whenever you feel like things are completely out of your control, it’s always a good idea to make a plan! It doesn’t matter if the plan comes to fruition, simply putting a pen to paper will help you feel better.
If you are worried about living on your own — take it day by day! Each day in your new home will bring new waves of emotions. Some days you may feel giddy with freedom and some days you’ll want to crawl into a fetal position. Embrace the negative emotions and remind yourself that the good days will come again.
If you are nervous about living in a new apartment or dorm room, come up with ways to decorate to make it feel like your home. For example, bring pictures of your family! If you will miss your parents, plan for a weekend visit home. Or, if you prefer, have your parents or parent come to visit you. Leaving your parents’ does not mean you won’t see them again, and having a specific date of return in mind will help you feel calmer about leaving.
Give Yourself Time
There will be days when you will feel incredibly lonely, even if you have roommates. Your parents were your safety net — even when they annoyed you or when you just wanted to escape for a while, they were always there to welcome you home.
Now, it may feel like you have to face every problem by yourself. No matter how old we get, dealing with issues on our own is hard. Living without your parents comes with incredible freedom, but it also comes with responsibility and a good measure of loneliness.
The adjustment period will be hard. There will be days where you’ll want to catch a bus or book a plane and just go home. If you give yourself some time, you’ll get through the growing pains and come out the other side stronger than before. As Oprah says, “Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”
Remember, if all else fails, you can still reach out to your parents whenever you need them. You may be leaving your parents for the first time and of course it’s going to be hard, but you are not cutting off all contact with them! We live in a time where Facetime, Zoom, and Facebook video chat are easily accessible and basically free to all. So if you miss your parents, don’t be afraid to pick up your phone.
Build a Support System
Now that your parents are no longer your primary support system, it’s important to have a close circle of friends or a network of peers who you can depend on.
If you’re moving to a new area, it’s likely you will not know anyone yet. Forming a close group of friends will take some time. Here’s where it becomes important to meet new people. Whether you have moved for work or school, there are ways to find friends. If you have trouble putting yourself out there, try joining an activity or small group. This way you can meet like-minded people and be a part of something.
We tend to feel lonely when we have nothing to do. This is why it’s incredibly important to keep busy when coping with living without your family!
If you have long blocks of time or weekends without plans, use the time to do something fun. You can join a club or group, go out into nature, explore your new neighborhood, or meet new people. If you put yourself out there and involve yourself in your new community, you’ll feel more at home and miss your family a little less.
Remember Why You’re Moving Out
When things get hard, you’ll long for simpler times. You may wish you could drop everything, pack up your life, and head back to your parents’ loving arms. In the moments where you want to give up, think about what led you to this decision in the first place.
Living without your parents will help you become your own person. When we are constantly around parental figures, we tend to subconsciously mimic our parents’ beliefs and opinions. Our parents want the best for us, but they also want us to do things their way. Part of growing up is realizing that they don’t always know what’s best and they definitely are not always right.
Getting a healthy amount of distance from your parents will give you the space to decide what you believe in. Soon you will become the mature and fully-formed adult you are meant to be!