Pick a few rituals.
Sometimes for me stability means a set schedule. When I spent the majority of December and January traveling, I looked for things that I could do regardless of my location. Getting coffee first thing in the morning was an easy one to do. Waking up at the same time every day was another. Neither of those things were location dependent, but having a small bit of daily structure while on crazy conference travel helped keep me feeling like I was home.
Pursue non-location or possession based sources of comfort.
Do things that you can take with you as your life changes. Reading, writing, running, climbing, yoga: those activities calm and center me when I feel out of my element. They don’t distract me from what’s changing in life, they remind me of all the good in it. I can run just about anywhere. Climbing is a bit harder, but there are gyms and boulders and brick walls everywhere. Yoga studios are too. Pick a few things that remind you of your strengths, or that inspire you, and make them your go-to activities when your comfort zone seems far away.
I can’t say how many times a call or IM has saved my sanity this year. I may be far away from most of my closest friends, but their presence in my life gives me perspective and hope. If you feel displaced, take some time and focus on the important people in your life. Show them some love, and you can share in their strength. The worst thing we can do is convince ourselves that we have to face life alone. Sometimes your comfort zone can be inside a text message or as close as a cup of coffee.
Have external reminders of internal strengths and beliefs.
I bought a butterfly necklace when I was in San Francisco in December. The butterfly has become a kind of symbol for me over the past year, reminding me that good times come after bad, and that growing and changing are a part of life. While it’s a physical object, it reminds me of things I can’t actually hold in my hand. Having an object around to remind you of what’s really important, what your core values are, can make leaving your comfort zone less scary and more like the chance for adventure and progress that it is.
Boldness doesn’t come without a price, but then again nothing of value ever does. The best things in life often never happen without significant change, either in ourselves or in our environment. Both can leave you feeling like home is far away, but in reality home is exactly what and where we decide it should be. Redefine your comfort zone into something you can take with you no matter where you go or what you do. Embrace the change, stay firmly planted, and be bold.