Mental Health & Moving: How to Beat Relocation Depression
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Of course, you want your new home to be a safe haven, not a cause for anxiety or sadness. With that in mind, here are some important ways that you can beat relocation depression and get life in your new community off to the right start.
Organize Your Move
Stress is one of the primary contributors to depression; and a disorganized move will cause you stress. Even though it may take some extra effort, do all you can to keep your relocation organized and on-schedule. This may include:
- Packing and labeling your boxes well in advance of the move date
- Researching your new home and community, and visiting the area if possible
- Keeping a daily to-do list close at hand
- Creating a moving schedule, and sticking to it as closely as possible
If you can reduce the stress you feel during your relocation, then you'll be in a better position to handle any challenges that come up afterwards. And don't forget that a professional moving company can help your relocation project stay on track.
Recreate a "Piece of Home" in Your New Place
Once you arrive at your new house and start unpacking, try to recreate a space from your old home. Maybe you can arrange your furniture in the same way that you did before; or perhaps you can hang your pictures in the same pattern they were in previously. Whatever the case may be, you'll likely feel more comfortable if you're in a familiar environment — even if it's just a "piece of home" from your old place.
Get Plenty of Rest and Exercise
In many cases, your troubles won't look quite so bad after a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to increased stress, irritability, and depression, so don't ignore your need for some rest.
At the same time, it's also important to get into a healthy, consistent exercise routine. Periods of moderate to strenuous exercise can release endorphins in your brain — and these chemicals have been linked to increased happiness and reduced anxiety. Of course, you'll also feel more energy as you stick to your exercise regimen, which can help fight off depression.
Connect with Others
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever before. This is especially true if they are trying to conscientiously follow a government-mandated lockdown. This situation has made relocation even more difficult and isolating than it usually is.
To combat such negative feelings, take the initiative to connect with others virtually. Schedule Zoom meetings with your friends and family members. Send them regular texts to check on them. Give them a call when you have the time. In addition, it may be helpful to join a volunteer organization in your new community or sign up for classes and events organized by local sponsors. You could also join local social media groups. All of these actions can help you to feel connected with others and propel you through those feelings of isolation.
Create a Workable Routine, and Stick to It
We humans are creatures of habit. We tend to feel happier and more secure when our lives have structure and follow a predictable pattern. With that in mind, try to develop a workable, realistic routine for yourself as soon as possible — and then stick to it! It's amazing how a simple thing like waking up at the same time each morning can help you to beat the blues.
Also, don't hesitate to seek out a professional counselor for assistance. Relocation depression is no joke! However, with effort, perseverance, and help from your support group, you can beat it, and make your move a successful one!
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