Moving abroad should be an exciting and passionate time. For many it’s the start of a new adventure, a new chapter, or new beginning. It’s often a time of opportunity in work or romance, and the whole move and relocation can pass by in a whirlwind. However, once that last box is unpacked and you’re settled into your new home in a shiny new city, a sinking feeling can seep in. This is known as relocation depression, and its most common symptoms include sleeping too much or feeling tired all the time, feeling lethargic and apathetic, and isolating yourself by being unwilling to leave the house or socialize. However, once you notice these signs, it can be fairly straightforward to cure yourself of this unfortunate affliction, and you don’t need to spend a fortune or pop prescription pills to get back to normal.
1. Get Involved In Something Local
While being withdrawn and anxious can be a sign of relocation anxiety, if you’re able to push through your trepidations and force yourself to leave the house by joining a local volunteer or sports group, you may already be close to shattering your depression and enjoying your new life. Joining a book club, a hiking group, or even local joggers or dog walkers can provide you with company, a chance to leave the house, and opportunities to make friends, all without the fear of awkwardness or rejection, as these groups are made to be joined by like-minded individuals. Before you know it, you’ll feel right at home.
Social media is a great tool to find these kinds of events. All you need to do is type in your new location along with whatever kind of club you want to get involved in and you’re sure to find loads to do. Alternatively, click on “Events” in your local area to see what’s going on!
2. Talk to the New People in Your Life
Neighbours and colleagues are people you’ll come to recognize, and while it may be difficult to overcome shyness, speaking up and saying hi or suggesting drinks or coffee is a great way to meet new people – or at least feel a little more at home in your new neighbourhood and office. “You’ll establish some ties and feel like you belong, even if no lifelong friendships bloom as a result. It’s nice to be involved and feel like a part of your new world, even in small ways like chatting with the people next door and making small talk in the elevator or at the water cooler,” says Anthony Lopez, a psychologist at Academized.
When you start your new place of work, try hosting a housewarming party. It doesn’t have to be massive, but simply let some people know at work that you’ve moved into the area and you’re thinking of throwing one. It’s a great way to get to know people and you’re sure to make some friends from it.
3. Get Outside
For all kinds of depression, including relocation abroad, fresh air and exercise can work wonders. Getting out for a walk or a cycle not only can clear your head and release some happy hormones, but it can also lead to you feeling a lot more at home and comfortable in your city.
This goes hand in hand with the consideration above. If you don’t already, take up jogging or running and join a running club. This is a great way to get some fresh air in your lungs and the exercise will help you feel great!
4. Stay in Touch With People from Home
It’s often loneliness that hits people hard when they relocate. However, one super simple way of combatting this is by staying in touch with family and friends from your hometown, or wherever you moved from. Elizabeth Hogans, a Personal Development Coach at Huffington Post, gives her comment: “Reminding yourself that you have a loving family and friends can stop you from feeling alone, and inviting people to visit your new home and showing them the sites is a great way to ease your transition and help you realize that moving doesn’t mean you’ve severed all ties with your old life”.
Once again, social media plays a huge role in this aspect, but don’t rely on it. It can be easy to see all your old friends hanging out and having fun, and it’s bound to make you feel sad and depressed. Instead, try having a phone call every now and then and make journeys back to see them. Alternatively, invite them up to stay in your new place!
5. Change Your Habits
“Try doing something totally out of character to break out of your shell. You’ve just made the big brave choice of moving abroad somewhere totally new – so if you’ve always wanted to try dance classes or skydiving, now is the perfect time to give it a go,” says Nathaniel Baker, a business coach at Oxessays.
Taking up a new hobby or pastime is a great way to meet new people. Simply make a list of all the things you enjoy and then see what’s available to you. Who knows, you might find your new favorite thing!
“Being somewhere new is scary and lonely, but by surrounding yourself with home comforts like framed photos or scented candles, or pillows or throws from your old place, you can find yourself feeling a lot more settled,” shares Jeannette Willis, a personal coach at Revieweal.
Whatever reason you’ve moved abroad for, this is a new and exciting time. It’s very similar to going long-term traveling where you’re bound to get homesick and develop something known as “the fear.” With time, you’ll start to feel at home and the depression will be gone!
You’ve already taken the hardest steps by moving – you are absolutely strong enough to get past relocation depression, especially if you follow the tips laid out above.
Gloria Kopp is a paper writer and proofreader at Big Assignments. She is a regular expert contributor at Template Monster and Grade On Fire blog. Besides, Gloria is an author of Studydemic blog where she writes her online reviews for students and educators.