This week I was featured on my town’s #1 community website, Scarsdale10583. Moving in the midst of a pandemic was certainly not something I ever predicted I’d go through — in fact, as a lifelong city person (I’ve only ever spent significant time living in New York, Philadelphia, and London), I wasn’t sure I’d ever live in a suburban area at all. A year ago, I could barely drive!
In 2019, my family and I did decide we’d make the big leap from the city to the suburbs, to a town new to us but one that felt right for many reasons. Several factors went into our decision and we were lucky to have made most of our plans before the pandemic. In so many ways, we have been extremely fortunate. But even those with privilege can have struggles. It can be difficult to move to a new place. Forming bonds with people we don’t yet know is intimidating with or without a pandemic, but particularly when literal social distance is required to keep safe and healthy.
It is important to take care of our mental health, too, though, especially during these winter months when we can get affected by the dark days, freezing temperatures, and exacerbated isolation caused by the snowiest season we’ve had in my area in years. I have found FaceTiming far-away friends and family, celebrating special occasions on Zoom, and taking short (masked, distant, and very bundled up) walks with new acquaintances very helpful.
Partly inspired by my own transitional experience of moving, I recently launched a series of virtual parent support groups to connect people going through similar experiences. As I indicated in the article, I hope to build on the connections I’ve made during this time and help others do the same. Check it out here. If you’ve been through a big life change during the pandemic, please reach out for support if you’re having a hard time or to share some things that have helped you!
P.S. I can (more or less) drive now, but sharing how I overcame that personal challenge is for another post!
Lauren A. Tetenbaum, LMSW, JD works with parents, aspiring parents, millennials, and teens. She moved from New York City, where she was born and raised, to the suburbs of Manhattan during the coronavirus pandemic.