Moving comes with the excitement of a fresh start, a new place to explore and the possibility of a better life. At the same time, uprooting, leaving home, family and the familiar can be difficult at any age. After the boxes are unpacked, a sinking feeling can bring you back down to earth with a bang. This may be the onset of homesickness or relocation depression.
Homesickness is a natural reaction to the loss of the familiar. As adults, we become attached to familiar surroundings. So, adjusting to a new place without close support can be overwhelming, leading to emotional and physical symptoms of homesickness.
Relocation depression can be compared to a period of mourning. It can develop into more serious symptoms affecting mental health and physical wellbeing.
It’s always good to talk to someone – a friend, a trusted colleague or partner – about how your feeling and not become isolated. If you can’t seem to shake these feelings, it’s advisable to seek professional support.
Understanding that feelings of homesickness as an adult are not taboo is the first step. Then, you can put together a little action plan to overcome it. Be realistic and acknowledge that the cause of post-relocation blues could be the result of a transition period rather than the new situation itself.
Most importantly though, be patient. It can take time to adjust to new surroundings. You can’t pour from an empty cup. The starting point on a road to recovery is always to look after yourself.
Moving can be stressful, as can day-to-day city life. Long commutes, crowded spaces, and urban pollution can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stifled. In fact, living in a city full of people isn’t a remedy for feeling alone. It often has the reverse effect of isolation. Getting involved in new activities where you live will help you get to know your neighborhood and connect with the community. Maybe it’s an evening class, or a weekend spent volunteering or checking out local events. Regardless, it’s a great way to meet new people. Getting to know your local offerings will also help you feel more grounded.
Establish your routine as soon as possible. You’ll need to develop a healthy balance of work, rest and play. Let your regular routine and hobbies translate into your new location. And make sure you have a packed schedule. If you used to participate in a running group in your previous city, sign up for one where you are now. Or find a yoga studio to keep up your practice. Continuing with activities that you’re already comfortable with will make it easier to meet people on the same wavelength.
Research has shown that aerobic exercise is just as effective, (if not more) than taking antidepressants for treating mood disorders. Group exercise is also a great way to make new friends and build a supportive community.
Looking after your body by exercising will also improve sleep and make you more mindful of what you eat. Cutting back on alcohol and caffeine is advisable, as alcohol is a depressant, and caffeine is a stimulant. Meaning, they don’t mix well with feeling down.
Indulge in something that makes you feel good. Whether it’s a manicure or a massage. Don’t feel guilty about making time to treat yourself. It could even be a self-care ritual tool like EFT Tapping, which is a technique designed to eliminate anxiety. If you find yourself traveling often for work, you can even incorporate a self-care ritual or beauty booster into your pre or post-flight routine.
Find local parks and green spaces where you live. Take a walk in the fresh air to step out of your homesick zone and back into reality. Research says that spending time in, or living close to, natural green spaces is associated with diverse and significant health benefits. It reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and it increases sleep duration.
If you are constantly on the go and doing new things, feelings of homesickness won’t have time to take hold. Don’t be afraid to go out on your own. This is a great tip for overcoming loneliness and learning to enjoy your free time. It could be checking out a show at the theatre, treating yourself to a new restaurant or exploring coffee shops around a new place. Big cities are full of museums and art galleries to see, often hosting interesting events programs and late-night opening hours. You can also learn something new while meeting new people with similar interests by signing up for an evening class.
Try and frame this free-time you have alone in a positive light, and milk it! The grass is always greener on the other side. Plenty of people, for whom alone time is a thing of the past, will be envious of your situation. Give making new friends a chance by accepting invitations and making an effort to go out, even if you’re not in the mood. Also use your social network to connect with friends of friends, who you might share common ground with. If your working remotely, using a coworking space is a great option for building a network.
Arriving at a move-in ready apartment that’s already fully-furnished will make it easier for you to settle into a new place. There won’t be any hassle of having to buy furniture or appliances. Bringing tokens of the familiar (such as treasured items or photos of family and friends) can make a new environment feel more personal. Having a comfortable space to come back to at the end of every day will help you feel more settled.
The interior decor and cleanliness of your apartment can seriously affect your mood. There are many interior design tricks to make your rooms more relaxing. Having a fully-equipped kitchen also means you’ll be more likely to cook at home and spend less money eating out. Staying at a Blueground apartment makes guests feel at home from the move-in date by providing beautifully furnished and completely equipped rentals. This leaves more time for settling into a new city.
It might take a few days or weeks, but you’ll feel like yourself again in no time. Think of this new town, city or country as a new and exciting chapter. You never know what the future holds, and this new place might end up feeling more like home than where you were before!