How to Overcome Relocation Depression?

Let’s start with the obvious: making huge life changes tends to affect nearly every person’s mental state in varying degrees. One of the biggest changes that can occur in one’s life is relocation, which is why you will hear the term relocation depression being thrown around more often these days. You can already imagine how moving can impact a person’s mental state, whether going to another city or state or even relocating to a different country altogether. Let’s discuss further what makes that feeling escalate, and why, in some people, this change has a tendency to cause actual bouts of depression.

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November 4, 2019 Posted in How-to

Can Moving to a New Home Cause Depression?

We know what you may be wondering at this point, and it may be the very thing that drove you to look for help in the first place. You have already booked moving services, your movers are running around the house and you will soon be moving into a new home. However, you might have a hint of uneasiness when it comes to leaving this place and letting go of the house that you had called ‘home’ for so many years. What worries you is that this move might be traumatic for you or your children if you’re moving with kids, since you never know how they might react to major life changes.

No matter how convinced in this next chapter you might be, how excited and inspired you feel, there is a worry that it might cause a persistent feeling of sadness after the dust has settled. We are here to help you prevent that scenario, and in case you are already feeling it, help you overcome the infamous relocation depression with our tips.

girl looking through the window
These feelings don’t last forever

You Are Not Beyond Treatment

The first thing to note here is essential, and you need to remember it like this: there is always help available. Regardless of the stage of the move you’re in right now, or whether the move is over and you are mulling over the things you’ve left behind, no one is beyond help. It’s very important to show interest in overcoming this feeling – just making that effort will help tremendously.

Secondly, know that this feeling isn’t unheard of and it’s not just happening to you. It will sound corny, but it’s true: we know just how you feel. Here are some of the signs that you may be struggling with this condition and the ways to fight it off.

girl sitting in the park
Learn how to treat feelings of intense sadness

Know That Moving Blues is Nothing New

There are many people who express apprehension when relocating and even ask their movers for advice on it. You are lucky to have found something that may be classified as a guide to not feel sad or depressed once you move. We, of course, can’t tell you how to feel, but we sure can offer expert advice on how to overcome the bad and focus on the good bits of this new life. Before we move on to the actual steps for fighting off the feelings of regret or sadness, we want to tell you how brave of you it was to move. Without a doubt, changing your well-known place of residence takes courage and not many people are able to muster up that amount of strength and move their whole life.

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Every Next Chapter in Your Life is Tough

Working with various people all over America, we asked people who relocate frequently to come up with a perfect word to describe it. Almost none of them could come up with one, but instead three or more words to describe how this big step makes them feel. Our conclusion for this amateur market research effort was that relocation could only be described as a ‘mixed bag’ of feelings. Nearly everyone was excited and happy, but also nervous and worried about what the future holds. That was the essence of this next chapter in life, it can’t be all sunshine and roses. Before embarking on this journey, it would be a good practice to curb your expectations.

young woman
Let yourself feel every emotion, only then you'll be able to enjoy the move

You’re Feeling Overwhelmed – Possible First Sign of Relocation Depression

This may just be the first symptom of something that might later become relocation depression or a related issue. While it’s perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed with the move from time to time, if you feel overwhelmed constantly, even after the move has ended, you may need to talk to someone. We do not mean to go to a counselor directly, but have a friend over for a chat, and ask them if you can vent to them. Nine out of ten times, the feeling goes away after we’ve released the pent-up stress and energy that had been there throughout the moving process.

Make a Pros and Cons List

In case you haven’t done this in the early stages of the move, even before everything was set up, we suggest you do it now. Sometimes, making another pros and cons list after you’ve moved might help too, since now you have a better outlook on the opportunities and advantages of this other place. While making the list, think of various aspects of your life and the move, things that don’t just encompass the new neighborhood with its big shiny mall. Think of more abstract positives, such as being able to look at something new each day you wake up. Write down things that you love about this place, and start exploring the setting to the detail.

Go With the Flow

Like we hinted in the previous paragraph, one of the best ways to overcome grief and melancholy is to put a strong focus on something. This might produce a hobby, a better understanding of life or just an appreciation for all nature’s wonders. Go a bit further from home each day, allow yourself to breathe in this setting and start adjusting to your new community.

Deal With Moving-Related Heartache

Leaving friends behind or moving away from family is the second biggest contributor to you feeling this way. Being away from home, you might experience loneliness in advance, knowing that you won’t see them as often. However, we have the honor to live in such a time where a person you love and miss is only an app away. A strong internet connection is a huge plus going forward, and it will help you see your friends whenever you want. We know it doesn’t feel the same, but it’s a huge step from what was once generally a severed contact kept alive by an occasional letter or two.

Find Friends

Moving away always means making friends, there is no doubt about it. Even if you don’t consider yourself very extroverted or easy to approach, life will create such situations where even grown-ups are forced to interact and friendships blossom. We know that it’s not as easy as in middle school, where sometimes all it took was the same colored scrunchie or an ice cream preference. But trust us when we say that, as long as you leave the house every once in a while and mingle around, friends will start to approach you.

Pick up Hobbies

A great way to allow yourself some me-time and meet friends at the same time is to immerse yourself in a new hobby. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t just follow up on the old hobby or revive old interests in a different surrounding. One major advantage of hobbies is their ability to battle depression. If you can’t find the time for modeling ships, something as simple as taking your dog for a walk on a different track every day can be a great battle strategy against melancholy.

people in the park with dogs
Picking up new hobbies will save you from the blues

Persistent Symptoms of Relocation Depression You Can’t Ignore

If you find yourself struggling to get out of bed still, and every day seems harder on you, this might mean it’s time for counseling. This idea, like other major life-altering decisions in our lives, can cause us to fall out of touch with ourselves, and counseling is the best way to battle issues that are this persistent. If you are constantly sad, and this life isn’t agreeing with you, don’t sit around waiting for something. To escape that flow, you need to make the first step. Now you will know just how affected you might be, and hence which strategies to use.

girl in the bed
Are the symptoms persistent

It Won’t Last Forever

If what you are going through now makes it look like it might last forever, don’t fret. That is a very familiar feeling for all during this phase in life, but it remains just that – a phase. Time goes on and problems and issues go away with it. Old ones are replaced with brand-new ones, and soon you will see that relocation depression is going to be a thing of the past. Settling in after the long-distance movers go is never easy, but the problems it brings are nothing compared to the thrilling new experiences and opportunities that lurk right around the corner.

Under this immense pressure that comes with changing homes, you need to find peace and have some time for yourself and your loved ones. In the huge mess that is the process of changing homes, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is a better life somewhere else.

Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.



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