Reviewed by Aaron Horn, LMFT
Many people wind up feeling depressed after they move to a new location. This is more common than many realize, and the impact of relocation depression might be more severe for those who have moved far away from their hometowns. You might have moved to a place that is substantially different than what you’re used to, and this is going to make you feel odd about many things. What can you do to deal with relocation depression, and will this something fade away with time?
The information below will show you how relocation depression is something you can cope with if you take the right steps. These tips for coping with relocation depression will help you get to a better place with your mental health. Over time, you might even come to accept your new location as your home, but you have to make an effort to do so. Don’t think that you’re strange for feeling the way that you do right now. Many people have problems with relocation depression, but that doesn’t mean that it has to get the best of you.
Speak To Your Doctor About Depression Problems
The first thing to do is speak to your doctor openly and honestly about the depression you’re experiencing. Your doctor will be able to determine whether your depression problems are severe enough to warrant certain treatments. If you’re on the fence about talking to your doctor, then taking a depression test can help. This is a good way to learn about how severe your depression is, and help you make a good decision about getting help. Some people get more depressed than others when they move to a new location, but you can get help if you reach out to your doctor.
The doctor might prescribe you antidepressant medications if you have a depression issue. Sometimes relocation depression can just be a part of a greater depression issue coming to the forefront. Thankfully, antidepressants do a good job of helping people cope and feel better when they’re depressed. There are various types of antidepressants, and you’ll likely need to work with your physician to determine the best ones for you to take. Not everyone who feels depressed will need to take antidepressants, but this could help you if you’re having a hard time adjusting after your move.
Talk To A Therapist
Talking to a therapist is another great thing that you can do to help with your depression. You don’t have to feel like you’re alone just because you moved to a new town. You can spend time discussing your feelings with your therapist so that you can work through them. Some people need to have these discussions so that they can work through how they really feel. There might be many things that you don’t understand about yourself and your response to your move that will become clear once you’ve had a few therapy sessions.
Therapists can also help you work on many coping mechanisms when you’re feeling anxious about your new environment. Relocation depression is often paired with anxiety due to people being intimidated by getting used to a new place. If you can get better at coping with your feelings, it’ll be easier to open up and stay positive. Overall, this is going to help you out substantially when you’re dealing with relocation depression. It’s even possible to do online therapy instead of going to a therapist’s office if you would find that to be more convenient.
Connect With Your Old Friends
Connecting with your old friends isn’t impossible now that you moved to a new town. In fact, modern technology makes it easier than ever to still do things with the people in your social circle. You can play video games together over the internet, video chat using your phones, and do all sorts of other things. Some people even use video chat software to play board games together when they cannot get together physically. Just knowing that the old bonds that you have with people from your hometown aren’t gone might help to make you feel better about things.
Try To Make New Friends
Of course, it’s going to make sense to make new friends because you want to feel good about your new location. Try to make an effort to meet new people so that you can start appreciating the area a bit more. You might strike up a conversation with your neighbor one day and discover that you have quite a bit in common. It’s also possible to meet people just by doing normal things around the town. Your new co-workers might wind up turning into great friends if you give them a chance. Friendships matter so much in life, and having good friends can mentally put you in a better position.
It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to pursue new friendships, though. You will benefit from having friends in your new city, but not everyone is a social butterfly. Even if you have a hard time opening up to new people, it’ll probably be easier to open up to those you have something in common with. Consider making an effort to make friends with people who seem to share interests with you. It could help to alleviate your depression by giving you something positive to focus on.
Check Out The City For Fun
Feeling depressed about your relocation might keep you from wanting to really give the city a shot. When you have the energy to do so, it’s going to be a great idea to just check the city out for fun. Try to get used to the streets a little bit and check out the different locations in the area. You might find some stores that you will like to shop that carry things that you enjoy. Even finding some nice restaurants or carry-out locations will make you appreciate this new place a lot more.
Finding a few fun spots to go to will make your opinion of the city change fast. If you like attending concerts, then finding a local concert venue to go to could be your gateway that will help you to start appreciating the city. You might find a gym that you like, a book store that you’ll want to frequent, or some really nice bike trails nearby. Whatever you’re into, it’s going to be possible to find locations that speak to you. Going to these places will also make it easier to meet people who could become your new friends.
Get Back Into Your Normal Routine
Things will start to feel a lot more normal at your new location if you get back to your routine that you’re used to. Moving is dramatic and unsettling for many reasons. You might have been forced to take time off of work just so you could finish moving to your new home. Once you start to get your stuff unpacked, it’ll feel a lot different. You should be able to get back to work soon, and then your old routine will start to fall into place.
Try to do things that make you feel comfortable and normal. If you’re used to exercising before you go to work in the morning, then wake up and start doing that again. Eat your meals at normal times, participate in the hobbies you like to devote time to, and just try to be normal. After some time has passed, those feelings of relocation depression will pass because your new home will just feel normal now. Admittedly, it can take some time to get to this point, but you should feel a lot different about things after a few weeks or months.
Have A Support System
Having a support system is important when you’re going through depression issues, and it can make it much simpler for you to deal with stress. Some people have a worse time with depression than others, and you might have some days where you will feel like you need help. This is why it’s good to reach out to friends and family members when you need to chat. You might even have a spouse or partner who will be there with you during your time of need. Reaching out when you’re having a tough time isn’t something that makes you weak, and you can be there for your social circle in return.
If you’re having a tough time adjusting to life in your new city, then you can be honest about that. Sometimes a little bit of advice from your parents or friends will really hit home. You might be able to put things in a new perspective so that you can have an easier time acclimating. You don’t want to withdraw from others because that will make your depression symptoms worse. Be ready to reach out when you need to, and your relocation depression will get much easier to cope with over time.