depressed man
Posted in How-to on August 24, 2021
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

How to Overcome Depression After Moving

More than 250 million people around the world are familiar with the feeling of being depressed. Depression after moving, however, is one specific type connected to the stress and transitional trauma relocation can cause – after all, it is declared one of the three most stressful life events. Luckily, many coping mechanisms could help you deal with your cross-country transition – and you could learn them all by reading our guide. Let’s start!

For Which Reasons Can Moving House Cause Depression?

Every person on this planet feels sadness every once in a while, but some have suffered through a stressful event or emotional trauma that could significantly impact their mental health and leave them feeling depressed. Relocation could be one of those events that could pull a rug under you by making you leave behind everything familiar.

So, why do those feelings appear after the relocation to a different home? Here are some reasons that could cause your melancholy:

  • Getting out of your comfort zone – you’ll be pulled away from your safety net and favorite places. Everything you’re used to, and everything that gave you comfort and peace of mind in your previous city, won’t be there after the relocation. Fear of the unknown and loss of familiarity could make you sad and nostalgic.
  • Relocating away from family and friends – cross-country relocation usually implies that your loved ones won’t be close to you anymore and that you will have to rely on different means of communication to keep in touch with them. The situation could worsen if you are naturally an introvert and don’t enjoy socializing, but also if you are relocating to a different state alone.
  • Relocating from home you love – sometimes you are forced to move out from the house and surroundings that grew to your heart. Getting a job in a different city, for example, or relocating for love could be a step in the right direction concerning your career and love life, but that doesn’t mean you won’t fiercely miss your old town.
  • Stressing about money – constantly thinking about relocation hacks that will show you how to save money on relocation costs and calculating how much you need to save up now that you live in a different city could give you severe headaches.
A family gathered before the cross-country moving
Leaving your loved ones behind could lead to you feeling depressed

How Does Moving Affect Mental Health?

After the initial excitement of the relocation, there is a vast possibility that you will start to rethink if you made a good choice when thinking about relocation and deciding where to live. For some people, relocation is not everything they thought it would be, or they just don’t give themselves enough time to cope with the change, which leads them to feel sad, alone, incompetent, and homesick.

Some people could acclimatize well and adjust to everything without batting an eye. For others, adjustment to the unfamiliar could represent a slightly harder task. And if you are not able to adapt appropriately to your new surroundings in a timely manner, you could start having signs of depressed behavior. The key is not to ignore the symptoms – mental illness should be treated the same way a physical one would. You need to learn to cope with the world around you in order to acclimatize, and if you can’t, be sure not to dismiss the possibility of professional help.

A sad girl sitting in a car after long-distance moving
Don't ignore the signs that you are not coping well with your relocation

What Can You Do Before Relocation to Decrease Negative Emotions After the Move?

Are there some actions you could take to prevent negative feelings overwhelming you after the relocation? Some tactics within your preparation could serve you good when it comes to maintaining your health in the long run, so ensure to put the following items on your relocation to another state checklist:

  • Research the new city – remember to explore as much as possible before the relocation day and ensure that you are familiar with the city’s vibe. Explore those places you are sure to visit after you move, like museums, coffee shops, green parks, clubs, or sport centers.
  • Organize your move on time – with a last-minute move, you are bound to experience a lot more stress than you would with a detailed plan for relocation to another city. Learn upfront how to pack fragile items and other useful packing tips. You could also give the reins to cross-country movers and hire professional packing services so you won’t have to worry at all.
  • Connect with (possibly) new friends – thanks to modern-day technology, you could make friends in a different city even before the relocation day. Search social platforms and join different online groups with people who share your interests. It would be beneficial if you could connect with family members living in your future city, too.

There is no guarantee that those methods will help you be less depressed, but they most certainly won’t harm you in any way – try them and see if they’ll work.

How Could Long-Distance Movers Near Me Help With Preventing Post-Moving Depression?

If you decide that everything on your relocation to-do list must be done only by you, there is no doubt that you’ll make one of the most common relocation mistakes and experience anxiety about relocation. It is always better if your finances allow you to hire long-distance moving services and leave the better part of the process in their hands. By hiring a cross-country moving company, not only that you’ll move more efficiently, but you will also avoid overstressing yourself to the limits, which will then reflect on a lesser chance of developing depressed emotions after the relocation.

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Depression after Moving – Main Relocation Depression Symptoms

In order to find out if the relocation is taking a toll on your psyche, try to answer the next questions:

  • Did you notice that your anger is fast triggered lately?
  • Have you gained or lost a lot of weight since the relocation?
  • Are you more tired than usual?
  • Do you want to stay at the house and isolate all the time?
  • Have you experienced sleep disruptions after the move?
  • Have you lost interest in those activities you used to enjoy?
  • Has your need for different stimulative substances, such as drugs or alcohol, increased after the relocation?

If the answer to one or several of these questions is yes, there is a possibility that you are experiencing difficulties with your transition and becoming depressed after the transitional trauma. It’s vital that you keep track of these symptoms and see if they are getting worse or better, and then adjust your behavior accordingly.

You shouldn’t be ashamed of your emotions and current condition. Remember – you are not alone. If you want to hear some advice from people who struggled with their emotions and came out as winners after the fight with this illness, ensure to watch the following video.

How Do You Cope With Moving to a New Place?

“How do I stop being sad about moving” should be the first question to ask yourself after you see that your sadness and nostalgia don’t want to go away. The answer is quite simple, but it may take a few weeks to see the results – you need to develop place attachment in order to conquer your negative emotions after relocation. Luckily, there are numerous ways to achieve this goal.

Explore the Unknown and Stop Isolating Yourself

Convince yourself to get up from the couch and go explore your new city. Depending on your preferences, visit local landscapes and museums, watch a sports game, experience the city’s artistic side, and hop from one restaurant to another. The possibilities are endless – let your heart take a pick. And while you are at it, give your best try to socialize, even a little bit. No one asks you to become friends immediately, but having small talk with your newest acquaintances is a good beginning.

Activities That Made You Happy Before Could Improve Your Mental Health

If you enjoyed having a perfect cup of coffee first thing in the morning or meditating and doing yoga before you start with your day, there is no reason to stop with it during the relocation. Continue with your hobbies and fall back to your old routine – it will give you a sense of familiarity.

Engage Yourself in the Decoration of Your House

Think about small apartment ideas and create a new apartment checklist for things you need to buy – it could do wonders in clearing your mind from negative thoughts. Moreover, if you decorate your place to remind you of your old home, you will preserve the part of your old household atmosphere even after relocation – it could get you more comfortable in the unknown environment.

Wall being painted after long-distance moving
Decorating is one of the thing that could help you cope with transition

Getting a Pet Will Bring Happiness to Your Life

Sometimes even humans aren’t capable of giving unconditional love, but guess who is? Your furry friend will wait patiently at home and show all their adoration for you the minute you walk through the door. Adopting a pet or already relocating with one will make you feel less lonely while simultaneously giving you the possibility to socialize with other pet owners.

The Power of Positive Thinking

The most important thing you need to remember after you relocate is to focus on the benefits. No matter your reasons for the move, there will always be something to look forward to. If you are scared because you’re relocating for the first time, for example, know that that experience will teach you how to live on your own and become more independent and self-reliant. If you are relocating for a career, keep your mind on the opportunities that will open for you and the professional skills you will gain. When feeling down, this task will demand your continuous effort, but soon it will come more naturally to you.

Learn How Your Brain Works

The feeling of happiness is connected to the chemical reaction happening in our brain at some specific moment. If you know how to initiate hormone secretion, you could trigger those feel-good emotions whenever you need them. Endorphin, for example, is one of those happiness hormones, and it is stimulated during different activities, such as physical exercising. So, not only will you be slim and have better self-esteem, but the exercise could also bring a little bit of joy in your life when you’re wheeling down.

If you want to know more about happiness chemicals and how to stimulate them, take a look at the graphic below:

Form Your Own Support System

Whether you feel like it or not, humans are social beings and need support from others to function properly. That is why it is crucial to stay in touch with your family and friends – they will be by your side if you are going through rough times. However, know that the support from family members that are physically far away from you needs to be combined with your search for friendship and support at the city you relocated to. Give your best to find those who are like you and share the same passions and interests – don’t let your negative emotions thrive in your solitude.

Ask for Professional Help If You Keep Feeling Depressed after Moving into a New House

If you keep feeling depressed for long and not adjusting as you think you should, don’t wait for the situation to get worse. It would be good to try with some mental health helplines, but if things aren’t getting any better, schedule a medical appointment and see if treatments and psychotherapy could help you achieve your optimal health again. And no matter what you do, never approach this subject lightly.

A man on psychotherapy after the long-distance moving
Psychotherapy could be the answer to your erasing negative emotions after relocation

Give Yourself Time to Heal, but Seek Help When Needed

It’s very important to realize that it is perfectly normal to feel homesick and sad while missing your family and old city – don’t panic if they are dominant emotions in the few weeks after the relocation. The problem appears when that becomes only the emotions you are feeling and when you can’t find happiness in anything for a much longer period. If that is the case, you must recognize the symptoms and not fool yourself that it is something that will pass – use the coping mechanisms we showed you above and don’t hesitate to ask for support when you need it.

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