How to Love Your Place

One of my favorite topics to coach is place attachment. Place attachment is the connection we have to the place where we live. It’s whether you love where you live, or not. Admittedly, loving where we live can be a challenge, whether we’ve moved recently, been in the same place for 7 years (me!) or your whole life. 

I enjoy listening to clients talk about their favorite places, where they used to go before they moved or in other towns: coffee shops, theatres, knitting stores, music festivals, and more. Then, I enthusiastically send them on a mission to explore their area and discover what’s around that’s maybe not the same but similar. When they discover something new and welcoming, I get to hear in their voice or read in a text joy that they discovered a new restaurant, for example, and their plans to go back. And then a wild joy sets in for me. 

So, let’s start small. Because this will hopefully bring you joy, too.

If you haven’t moved recently and struggle with loving your place, this is for you, too. 

Even if you’re unpacking and overwhelmed, do this anyway. It’s a simple formula.

Carve out time and call it self-care, because it is. Take a break, get out of the chaos, i.e. house, and explore. 

Start close to home, if you’d like, near your neighborhood and work your way out towards the center of town. Let’s move beyond running errands and do something that brings you more happiness than Target. Extra bonus points given if can walk or bike.  

Next, make a list of 3 to 5 places of interest that you’d like to check out. Which 1 can you visit in the next 3 days? Which 1 or 2 will you visit the following week? 

And then, visit each place. While there, pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel comfort and welcome? Is this a place you want to return? If it is then heck yes, go back next week or tomorrow. The more we re-visit the same place, see the same people, the more rooted and connected we begin to feel. 

If it isn’t, try another place. The time it takes to find your favorite places and feel acclimated is different for everyone and largely depends on how proactive you’re willing to be. 

Being in the in between is a good place to be.

You may be feeling the in between. Attached to your previous place while you’re new place feels very new. Add to that, not knowing anyone yet. Meeting people and establishing friendships takes time. This is a perfect time to connect with yourself, lean into emotions and explore hobbies. Get creative. Try something new.

For suggestions, Relocation Recovery is the online guide that helps you work through your emotions and start loving your place faster. It’s condensed and easy to navigate, affordable and fun. 

Melody Warnick, expert on place attachment and author of This Is Where You Belong, and I created Relocation Recovery because moving is hard and feeling calm, joy and rooted where we live is crucial.

#1 Mistake You Can Make During Relocation

Embracing emotions, feeling what we feel, is a crucial part of the relocation process. Moving is continual chaos, full of people and tasks demanding our immediate attention. Added to those demands are the uncertainty and fear of moving to a new, unknown place.

I want you to know that a lot of what you’re feeling is normal.

Throughout the relocation process, before, during and after, there is a wide range of emotions, including anxiety and excitement. These emotions ride through us like waves, unexpectedly knocking us off our feet at times. We each react differently and become so busy that it seems easier to just keep going nonstop. As we check items off of our list, it appears as though we’re moving forward, settling in and doing just fine.

Suppressing our emotions, however, is the biggest mistake we make. Our emotions influence how we respond to situations. By not addressing how we really feel, we are not taking good care of ourselves during this mighty huge transition. Working through our emotions allows us to pause, make choices and take steps to change the way we feel.

A simple place to start is by taking a few minutes every day to reflect on how you’re feeling.

Let yourself know that it’s okay to feel this way. Follow this with a question: How would I rather be feeling instead? Give yourself a little time to think of something you can do during the day that will help you feel the way you want to feel.

Digging into emotions can feel awkward, especially when trying to do this on your own. Working with a relocation coach gives you space to openly discuss your feelings comfortably. A coach can help you not only identify your emotions and challenges, but also develop strategies to work through them properly. Acquiring a positive mindset isn’t always easy to do and coaching will help you gain what you need much faster. Accountability and encouragement are great benefits to having a coach, as well. Getting out of your comfort zone and into your new community becomes easier to not only visualize but actually go do.

Another helpful tool is RELOCATION RECOVERY, an online, self-paced course. Relocation Recovery will guide you through embracing your feelings and provide tools to process the negative emotions, such as grief, fear and anxiety, and start feeling joyful, calm and connected to your new place. The course is condensed and easy to navigate (we know from experience you don’t need one more thing added to your to do list), affordable and fun. Melody Warnick, author of This Is Where You Belong, and I created Relocation Recovery because relocation should be a much better experience, less overwhelming and much more joyful.

Whether you choose to get support or not, please promise me, and promise yourself, that you’ll give yourself the space to lean in and address your emotions, rather than holding back any grief and anger. Making your emotional wellbeing a priority will greatly reduce stress and help you more easily move forward.


*Grief and anxiety are commonly felt throughout relocation. If your emotions feel like they’re leading to depression, please seek help from a mental health professional.