Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Mary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I’ve moved to a new city and the whole place is driving me nuts. I am in panic the moment I go outside my house. I have to be in a new city for at least six months. I miss my place back home. Any suggestions?
Is there something very terrible about the city? High crime? Squalor? Heavy traffic? Ask yourself what in particular is bothering you. “The whole place is driving me nuts” is an overwhelming way to look at the situation.
By specifying what in particular is making you anxious, your anxiety may become more manageable just by gaining some perspective. Or if it’s something specific, for example, a harrowing subway ride or daily traffic jam, there may be ways to circumvent and avoid these high stress situations.
One way to deal with anxiety, depression or stress is to reframe. Look at the situation from a different point of view. You get to live in a new city for six months. That’s great. What an adventure. New places to explore, new places to eat, making new friends, that sounds like so much fun, so don’t make this torture. Try to enjoy it. Explore. Take pictures. Get some souvenirs and keep a journal about your experiences there.
There’s always some new and some interesting things to do in any unfamiliar city and this is a great opportunity to expand your life experience. It may also help to keep in contact with people back home, read the news from your hometown and keep photos of your favorite places from your hometown close by. Small familiar items from home can also make a new environment a bit more comfortable; for example, the clock radio you had by your bed and woke up to for years. Reminders of where you are from may help you feel connected to the familiar.
If the anxiety is so severe or persistent that it’s actually interfering with your ability to function, to work or otherwise making you miserable, then it may be time to see a professional.