Coping with Depression After Moving
Moving at any point in your life is a big production. While the excitement and adrenaline of the move will have you pumped up and energized, often once that has passed we are left with feelings of depression and anxiety as we begin to mourn the space and life we've left behind.
These feelings can be amplified when moving great distances as we typically are leaving friends and family behind. Moving to a different country can increase these feelings even more as there is often an aspect of culture shock as well. The good news is that there are a few ways to overcome relocation depression and when caught early, it's often easier to deal with.
Moving often creates a flurry of excitement, so feeling depressed or displaced can often get caught up with the rest of emotions and isn't always recognizable as something that needs to be addressed. Some symptoms to watch for are:
- Excessive lethargy – If you find that you're sleeping a lot more than you would normally or are consistently tired, there may be a risk of relocation depression.
- Increased anxiety – Anxiety often comes hand-in-hand with depression, especially in situational circumstances such as a major move or relocation. It's natural to feel a little bit displaced or out of your element until you get used to the new space but if you start to notice that you become overwhelmed with anxiety or suffer from panic attacks you may need to speak to your doctor.
- Becoming withdrawn –Once you're unpacked and starting to get settled, your new home starts to become a space of comfort. If you find however, that you would rather stay in on a beautiful day than go for a walk or you're not interested in activities that you would normally be excited about, there may be some depression setting in. You know yourself and your habits, so just be aware of any abnormal behavior or dramatic changes in your personality.
Often the most difficult part is recognizing that there is an issue or admitting that you've been suffering from feelings of depression. But once you've acknowledged it or spoken to your doctor, there are ways to help overcome the effects of relocation depression.
1. Get Involved
Signing up for classes or attending community events is a great way to introduce yourself to your new neighbors and the members of your community. It can be intimidating, especially if you're not typically one to talk to people, but stepping out of your comfort zone could be the start of a lasting friendship.
Volunteering is also a great way to get involved in the community and even give back to it. This would be a great first impression as well and could be the start of many conversations.
If this is too much for you or if you're more of an introvert with depression, just getting out of the house and into local areas like grocery stores or coffee shops may help you to recognize certain people. While you many not know them on a personal level yet, you can start to see familiar faces, which could lead to feeling more comfortable and at home.