Moving to a new place can be exciting, particularly when the reasons behind your move are positive – a better job, for example, a bigger, more spacious pad, moving in with your partner, and so on.
However, after you’re done with the hard work – house hunting, packing, scheduling a good intestate or local moving company etc. – the initial excitement can slowly dissipate, leaving you with all sorts of mixed feelings.
Exhaustion and uncertainty are common ones that most people deal with, but others also find themselves battling fear and anxiety or worse still, stress and depression. In fact, post-move depression is real and there’s even a name for it: relocation depression.
It’s something you’ve probably experienced before but felt hesitant to discuss with anyone as you were not sure how they would interpret it or perceive you.
However, it’s important to highlight the fact that it is absolutely okay to have relocation depression. People are wired differently. While there are those who are quick to adapt to their new environment after moving, there are also those who find the changes a bit too much and might need some time to settle in.
Which is okay. The associated changes that a house move brings and all the emotional upheaval associated with it can make it hard to readjust to your new enclave, especially if we’re talking an interstate move.
Moving is one of life’s major transitions and there’s a reason many people consider it one of the most stressful events. Keeping that in mind alone should provide a good foundation to start working on moving-related stress and depression you may suffer post-move.
That aside, we also thought we would share some tips that can help you deal with relocation syndrome should you find it rearing its ugly head after moving.
Here then, are 5 tips that can help you emerge from it feeling better.
Establish a support system
Isolation can amplify depression, relocation or otherwise. Establishing a support system in a new place is not easy, especially if you have no friends or family members nearby. But that doesn’t mean there are no alternatives.
Keeping in touch with friends and family back “home” is one way to help with the adjustment. So is joining some local support groups or seeking professional help.
Having just a single person to help you cope with this challenging transition can make a world of difference.
Get outside of your house and explore
Going outside and interacting with the world may feel like the last thing you want to do when dealing with depression. You may feel inclined to lock yourself inside and battle the demons alone.
Thing is, though, getting outside and exploring your new town or city can surprisingly feel revitalizing.
That’s not to mean you need to head out the day following your move. Feel free to get in touch with your feelings first but avoid getting cooped up too much.
Cozy up your home
This might sound like a contradiction of our previous tip, but that point we just alluded to about taking some time for yourself at home first before exploring the new surrounds might be a good idea. After all, the unpacking will still be waiting for you to deal with.
Spend some time settling in and making your new home a comfortable space. This will be your retreat from all the chaos of the outside world and inside your head. You need it to feel homely and welcoming.
Start a new hobby (or two)
The idea of picking up a hobby is not to escape from the real feelings you’re battling with inside. By all means, feel free to embrace what you’re feeling, however unpalatable it may feel like.
However, engaging in a new (or old) hobby can give you a jolt of excitement that you so badly need during this time.
Some good ideas include joining the gym within a week or two of relocating or better yet, taking up running if it’s something you’ve never done before.
Other ideas include visiting art and cultural centers in town, going to the library, exploring cafés, restaurants, and museums, or joining some local clubs – chess, reading, bible study etc.
Meet some new people
Socializing might not come naturally to some of us, but humans are inherently social creatures and even the most introverted of us crave some interaction every now and then.
You don’t have to go out with the sole mission of making friends: the activities we just mentioned in the previous point can all be opportunities to meet new people and hopefully strike up new relationships.