Nobody ever said that moving would be easy. When people get started with a move, they’re usually prepared for a lot of hard work. It takes planning, patience and time to move your life from one location to another, but there’s one part of the move that people are seldom prepared for. What happens after all the hard work is over? The boxes are unpacked and everything should feel like home, but you’re instead left with an odd feeling of malaise. This feeling is often called relocation depression.
Understanding Relocation Depression
At first, you might think that it’s strange to feel depressed after finishing up a move. It might seem akin to feeling depression after taking first place in a race. Why would you feel depressed after scoring a major win? There’s a few different underlying issues involved with these feelings of depression.
One of the most significant issues of relocation depression is having solid goals suddenly removed. It’s quite rare for people to thrive in totally uncertain situations. Most people do like a little uncertainty and excitement in life, but at the same time they need some kind of stability as well.
When people are in the process of moving, they usually find that stability in all of the tasks that are part of the process. You’ll typically have a lengthy list of items which need your full attention. This serves a dual purpose of keeping you very focused on one thing while distancing you from the larger picture.
It’s only when people are finished with the move that they finally have a chance to step back and get some perspective, and it’s often a daunting view of the future spread out ahead of them. Moving usually entails the start of a whole new part of people’s lives, and new beginnings often take place on uncertain ground.
People are usually unsure of how to proceed toward their ultimate goal. The end result is that, when they finish a move, they’re suddenly struck by the immensity of what lays ahead of them. And even if they’re not personally hit by these feelings, it’s possible that their loved ones will be.
Watch Out for These Symptoms
After moving, you should watch out for a few symptoms of relocation depression. One of the biggest red flags is tiredness and apathy. It’s normal to feel exhausted after unpacking everything, but people recover from physical exertion pretty quickly. If someone is still tired a few days after a move, it can be a sign of relocation depression. Likewise, lack of interest in the new environment can be suggestive of an underlying issue.
Of course, everyone’s personality is unique to them. Not everyone explores a new environment in the same way. But if you or a loved one isn’t curious about any aspect of the new location, then it might be a symptom of relocation depression.
Taking Solid Action To Deal With Relocation Depression
One of the larger causes of relocation depression comes from feeling untethered. People often feel like they’ve lost ties to their old life while still feeling uncertain of their new one. Maintaining social connections to friends and family will help ease relocation depression. Online chat, social media, phone calls and even letters can help people stay in touch.
People can also maintain ties to the past by continuing on with their hobbies. They can often even combine elements of a new location into old passions. For example, if you love to cook, then you can explore local stores and even farmer’s markets. If you love to jog, then checking out new trails and paths can help you see more of your new home.
Also keep in mind that relocation depression usually sets in after people have finished up their to-do list after a move. You can bring back a task-based focus by transferring that passion to your work. Of course, you shouldn’t become a full workaholic. By heavily focusing on your job, however, you can expand your interests at a more comfortable pace.
Remember That Moving Is an Adventure
Finally, it’s important to look at relocation depression as just one part of a long journey. Moving is a big adventure. And like any adventure, there’s going to be highs and lows. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that relocation depression is only a minor issue in your journey rather than a major hurdle.