Moving can have an intense emotional impact, whether you are relocating frequently or not. You will eventually begin to notice a pattern in the emotional ups and downs as you move often, from the initial excitement of packing supplies and moving boxes, to getting frustrated over the long hours of work. In fact, research has shown that the stress caused by moving can make someone feel and appear two years older than they are.
Stress Associated with Moving
In the words of Dr. Marni Amsellem, PhD,
“Anytime We’re facing change, that is inherently stressful”,
Lumen Learning recently pointed this out on their website, that a high number of life changes within a short span of time can cause a number of physical and mental illnesses, and even children are not immune to this. In an attempt to explain the psychology of moving, Ronnie Greenberg, a psychoanalyst based in Manhattan, said in an article published in the New York Times,
“Panic can really set in around your home and your apartment. It’s a matrix of safety, so moving is incredibly stressful and people don’t realize it — they mainly talk about the packing and the external part of moving.” Uncertainty is a cause of anxiety and stress. Frequent movers often have been reported to experience what can be called “repetition compulsion.”
Relocation and Depression
Not just during the process, but even after the relocation, you carry the moving inertia within you. The excitement of living in a new city and starting a new life fades after a while, and the adrenaline-filled hecticness is left behind. Post-relocation-depression is not all that uncommon among those who move to a new city or country. Of course, some deal with residential relocation better than others, but it takes a toll in its own ways.
Some common symptoms of relocation depression include the following.
1. Excessive Sleep
This is perhaps the most common symptom of relocation depression. If 8 hours of sleep was enough to get you fully recharged before, you will notice that it takes about 12 hours or more now.
2. Uncharacteristic Tiredness
Another common symptom would be to wake up tired despite getting a good amount of sleep, and feeling sluggish throughout the day.
3. Unwillingness to Leave the House Premises
Reluctance to stepping outside or rejecting invitations of going out is a definite symptom of depression caused by relocation. Craving the reclusive life and trying to be confined within your apartment is a common issue.
4. Lack of Interest in Socializing
As you can guess, people often withdraw from socializing altogether and prefer spending time on their own.
There are a number of steps to handling these situations, and it usually involves both the pre and post-relocation stress syndromes.
1. Handling the Stress of Moving
You may need to move for a number of reasons, such as getting a new job, entering a new college, family reasons and many more. Therefore, you need to be able to handle stressful situations better. Firstly, you need to accept the fact that moving to a different city or country is going to be stressful. Preparing a mindset to welcome any unplanned event is the first psychological trick you can adopt. But along with the right mental setup, following some procedures will also help in easing the entire process.
a) Get Your Paperwork Done Properly
There is a lot of paperwork involved with international moving, from passports and work permits to other visas. The process of obtaining all these is a lengthy process as well, so prepare long before the moving process even begins to avoid last-minute panicking.
b) Figure out the Issue with Accommodation
Knowing that you will have a place to settle down in an unknown place when you reach, can be a huge mental relief. Just going through some international real estate websites or getting in touch with your friends or relatives in that place will be helpful.
c) Hire a Moving Company
You may be wondering how can an international shipping company help you with mental stress. From documentation to transporting your valuables without a scratch, international moving companies that deal with domestic and international moving on a daily basis can handle all issues to make your transition smooth.
d) Find out About the New Location
Most of your stress regarding relocating involves the fact that you are going to a place unknown. So, the most common solution is to learn about the place as much as you can. From gathering information on social network groups to finding information on search engines, there are a lot of ways to learn.
2. Handling Post Relocation Depression
Once you get over the moving process, and it is time to settle down, do these few things to avoid any major relocation depression.
a) Goodbyes are always difficult, so make sure to catch up with old friends and stick to the plan.
b)Try to know your new neighbours and get along with them. This may be beyond your comfort zone but is definitely worth it.
c) Become part of a new community and try to enjoy the new experience rather than complain about it.
d) Your daily routine may also need to be altered with respect to your new location.
Lastly, an international moving process can be stressful but it is also an exciting opportunity for self-growth. We as human beings only grow through hardships and challenges. Learn to enjoy the process of getting accustomed to a whole new culture and making new friends. Just make sure that you have all the necessary documents and follow the procedures of relocating to make the journey a memorable one.