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Blog July 9, 2021

How to Handle Relocation Depression?

Posted in Psychology of Moving
Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.

Moving out of your old home can be a very taxing experience, as you’re putting an end to an entire chapter of your life. Whether it’s because of a job, a recent divorce or even graduating from college, relocation depression is a real threat.

It can be excruciating to say goodbye to all of your old friends, family, and all of your favorite places, as you’ll be uprooting your entire life. Even though it’s okay to feel sad when moving to a new home, there’s no need to let yourself slip into a depressive state. Hopefully, the following tips will prove useful.

Understand What Relocation Depression Is

Relocation depression is a completely normal thing and you should accept this fact first. You should never be ashamed of feeling depressed, and even more importantly, you shouldn’t be afraid to seek help if you need it.

The period of relocation can be very tough on anybody, and it’s mostly because of the fear of the unknown. We all like to establish our routines, and sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re doing it. When we break those routines and find ourselves in an unfamiliar place and situation, it’s very easy to slip into a depressive state with no end to the sadness in sight. But there are ways to handle stress during the move and make it easier for your family and yourself.

Recognize the Symptoms

Feeling sad about changing your lifestyle and moving to a different city, relocating internationally to another country or moving to another state, is perfectly normal. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re deep in a depressive state of mind, but it can be one of the symptoms. You should also keep an eye on your kids in case you’re moving with children, as they can be affected, as well. Here are just some of the symptoms that can indicate that you are having trouble coping with this major change in your life.

You’re Having Trouble Getting out of Bed and Doing Other Tasks Related to Everyday Life

If you wake up feeling tired and lethargic, and like you just can’t go through the day, that could be a sign that something may be awry. Even if you manage to get out of bed after some time spent rolling over and over, you might be having trouble doing your daily tasks. Is the pleasure you once had in doing any of your hobbies, daily activities and your job gone? If the answer is yes, it may be one of the signs that you have a problem and may need some kind of help.

It’s normal to feel tired after the entire relocation process, especially if you haven’t hired movers for their professional packing and moving services. But, if the feeling of tiredness, both mental and physical, lingers on, it may be cause for concern. It can be something smaller, like having trouble concentrating or having a short fuse all of a sudden. On the other hand, it can be much more detrimental, like feeling worthless and down on yourself for every decision you make.

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You’re Reluctant to Socialize

If you’re avoiding any contact with people, and can’t even force yourself to get out of your home, you could be in trouble. We all have periods when we feel introverted, but not wanting to meet new people or socialize is one of the symptoms of this disorder.

Hiding from Reality

In case you’d much prefer to stay home and binge a series or play video games and disappear into a fantasy universe for longer periods, it could spell some trouble. If you’re avoiding your responsibilities for more extended periods of time, and can’t wait to get lost in another world, you might have to do something to change your ways.

Relying on Social Media Too Much

Much like escaping via a video game or via binging a good show, constantly being on your Facebook or Instagram profile could have a similar meaning. It’s normal to use your social media to stay in touch if you’re relocating long distance. However, it could be a bad sign if you constantly feel the urge to check for new messages or notifications.

Having trouble getting out of bed and binging TV shows might be a bad sign

Be Familiar with the Best Methods of Treatment

If you’ve gone through the symptoms and believe that you may be in a worse situation than previously thought, remember that there’s always a way out. Let’s go over some of the methods that can prove useful when combating relocation depression.

Make New Friends

It may be difficult at first, but meeting people is a great way to get started with your recovery. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, invite them over to a coffee and don’t be afraid to talk to the people you see at the local coffee shop regularly or with your new colleagues, in case you’ve moved because of a job.

Battle Relocation Depression with Physical Exercise

As many studies have shown, exercise is the most natural treatment for depression. Going out and exercising may be the last thing on your mind if you can’t get out of your bed, but it’s achievable. Start slow, find the regimen that suits your needs the most, and when you figure out your own tempo, just keep at it. Remember that the most important step a person can make is not the first one, but the next one.

Be Open to New Experiences

When you’re feeling depressed, everything will seem very dull and gray, but you have to be open to new experiences. This is especially the case when you’re relocating to another country and a different culture. Get over the first hurdle and visit a local museum or go to the local dog park in case you’re moving with dogs.

Try Getting Healthier After Moving

Improving your diet by eating healthy and lowering your alcohol and coffee consumption can make a big difference, as well. Now that you’re going through this change, why not adjust your diet for the better as well. You don’t have to go to a nutritionist, but remember to take your time, and that adding more fruits and veggies to your diet can be a good start.

Stay in Touch with Your Family and Friends

Relocating to another city means that you’ll be leaving your friends and family behind, and won’t have a group of friends straight away in your next home. But, you should try and stay in touch with your friends and family as much as you can, especially if you’re having a tough time and are feeling down.

Keeping in touch with your friends and family can be very helpful

Still Can’t Deal with Moving to a New Home?

In case you’ve read and followed through these tips and still feel depressed, you should reach out for help from a counselor. The methods mentioned above don’t have the same effect on everyone and seeking professional advice could be the best option. There are depression hotline numbers you can call if you feel like talking to someone about it.

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