Mark’s world was slow, cold, and distant.
When Mark found out he was moving across the country, he could hardly wait! However one week after moving into his new apartment, he began to feel off. It was almost as if all the colors in his world were disappearing, and everything was becoming gray.
Mark was very happy with this new apartment, so why was he feeling so sad? It turns out he was dealing with relocation depression.
Every year almost 40 million Americans move to a new home. For some, the impact of the move can cause intense feelings of depression.
If you’re feeling down after moving, it may be more than just a case of the blues. Read on to find out how depression with relocation works and what you can do about it.
Acknowledge Relocation Depression
The first step towards handling relocation depression is the ability to acknowledge your emotions. If you try to pretend that you’re not feeling a certain way, your feelings can begin to build up inside of you.
Soon, before you know it you’ll feel overwhelmed with an excess of different emotions. Instead of denying your feelings, you’ll want to find healthy ways to express them.
Here’s a shortlist of ways you can acknowledge emotions:
- Start journaling
- Listen to your internal dialogue
- Talk to someone you trust
As you learn more about the different emotions you’re experiencing, you’ll want to have a way to express them. We find that journaling is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get in touch with each of your emotions.
If you’re feeling isolated from the world after your move, write about those feelings in your journal. If you’re feeling confused by your depression, write about how your confusion makes you feel.
It may seem counterintuitive to spend time thinking about the things that make you sad. However, you’ll find journaling is can make big feelings seem less daunting.
Now, instead of feeling guilty or shameful about your depression, you can accept and love yourself. Journaling will also empower you because you’ll be taking action to feel better.
Find Social Circles
You don’t have to be an incredibly social person to benefit from making friends. If you’re feeling depressed, you may feel like the last thing you want to do is get out of the house and socialize.
Instead of forcing yourself into social situations that annoy you, customize your outings. If you like photography, look for a local group of photographers. If you enjoy exercising, find a walking group that’s near your new home.
Now, even if you’re not in the mood to make friends, you can still get excited about the activity you’re going to be doing. Remember, just because you try out a new group, it doesn’t mean you have to stay. You may try out several different groups or activities before finding the right one for you.
Turn Strangers Into Friends
When you go to social events, it’s always a good idea to arrive early and stay late. For example, let’s say you decide to try out a Zumba class. If you arrive exactly when the class begins, and leave when it’s over, you’ll miss out on the chance to make connections.
Instead, arrive at your social activity 15 minutes early, and stay at least 15 minutes afterward. If you feel a little bit awkward coming early or staying late, that’s perfectly okay.
The more you go to the same group or class, the more comfortable you’ll be able to feel. Soon, you’ll be calling people by name, and looking forward to seeing them.
Invest in Self Care
If you’re dealing with relocation depression, it could be because you’re stressing yourself out, and trying to do too much at once. Moving is hard, and you probably have an endless to-do list.
Still, you don’t have to stay stuck in a stressed-out state. You are responsible for your physical and mental well-being, and it’s crucial you take time to invest in self-care.
Here are a few ways you can enjoy some me-time:
- Take a long hot bath
- Plan a special dinner at home
- Spend half a day binge-watching your favorite show
- Treat yourself to an in-home massage
You’ll notice that at the top of our list of “me time” ideas, we suggest exercising. While exercising might not be something that you think of as fun, it can have tremendous mood-lifting results.
Stay in Touch
Moving to a new location doesn’t mean that you have to lose touch with everyone you used to know. While it’s important to make new friends, you can still cherish your long-distance relationships.
We suggest making a shortlist of people that you want to make sure you stay in touch with. Write down what individuals you want to speak to every week, and who you’d like to talk with every month.
Simply the act of writing down the names of people you will be calling will help empower you to handle your relocation depression. Soon, you’ll begin to see that the people you know and love aren’t lost.
You want to make sure that you’re still keeping space in your life for new friendships to form. To create a good balance, of new friends and old, just pay attention to where your mind is.
When you’re hanging out with your new friends if your mind starts to wander, bring it back to the present. Soon, speaking to your new friends will take priority over calling long-distance friends. Once you have 2-3 new friends in your new location, you’ll begin to have a natural balance.
Moving can often strengthen relationships too, and weed out the ones that weren’t meant to last. The friends from your old home that you continue talking to months after your move are most likely true friends. Now, you’ll get to see who your real friends are, and what friends don’t align with your new life.
From House to Home
Knowledge is power when it comes to dealing with relocation depression. We hope our article will help you have the tools you need, to make your new house a home.
You deserve to love where your life, especially when it comes to loving where you live. For more ways to infuse your life with joy, check out our other articles.