Coping Strategies for Depression After Moving - I Love Moving

Feeling Down In a New Home? Coping Strategies for Depression After Moving

Posted Moving Tips / April 11, 2023
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Embarking on the adventure of relocating abroad should be a thrilling experience, yet the unexpected emotional turmoil of depression after moving can dampen the excitement. In this blog post, we will discover what relocation depression is and deliver practical coping strategies to help you navigate these overwhelming feelings, empowering you to start this life change on a positive note.

Understanding Depression After Moving and Its Emotional Tolls

Post-moving depression is a common yet often overlooked emotional response to the significant life change that comes with moving overseas. It can arise due to various factors, such as leaving behind cherished relationships, familiar routines, and the comfort of known surroundings, even if you’ve chosen some of the best places to live abroad.

The stress of adapting to a new environment, combined with feelings of loss and isolation, can take a substantial emotional toll on those who plan to live overseas. Acknowledging and addressing these causes can help pave the way for a smoother transition and improved mental well-being in the new home abroad.

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Overview of Relocation Depression Symptoms

Moving depression symptoms can manifest in several ways, impacting both mental and physical well-being. Common indicators include:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood,
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities,
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns,
  • Fatigue.

Additionally, individuals may experience difficulty concentrating, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and social withdrawal. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial in identifying relocation depression and seeking appropriate coping strategies to ease the adjustment to a new country.

Depressed After Moving Into a New House? Learn Some Coping Strategies

Managing relocation depression symptoms may seem daunting, but by adopting a few relocation tips and tricks after getting packing services and flying away, you can facilitate a smoother transition. Some coping strategies include:

  • Establishing a routine – creating a daily schedule helps provide a sense of stability and familiarity in your new environment,
  • Staying connectedkeep in touch with your friends and family for support, and make an effort to build new relationships in your new community,
  • Engaging in physical activity – exercise can boost mood, reduce relocation stress, and improve overall well-being,
  • Exploring your surroundings – familiarize yourself with your new neighborhood, local amenities, and cultural offerings to foster a sense of belonging and get over culture shock faster,
  • Setting realistic goals – make a relocation checklist and break down tasks related to your move into smaller, achievable goals,
  • Seek professional help – if depressive symptoms persist or worsen, consider consulting a mental health professional for guidance and support.

Practice Self-Care and Prioritize Mental Health

In order to deal with the depressive symptoms that can come with living abroad, you need to first recognize that feelings of homesickness, loneliness, or anxiety are normal during this transition, especially if you’re relocating abroad alone. Give yourself permission to feel these emotions and consider journaling, meditating, or seeking therapy to help process them. By prioritizing self-care and mental health, you can foster resilience, build strong connections, and create a fulfilling life in your new home, ultimately ensuring a successful transition.

Finding a Support System Can Be Vital for Post-Moving Depression

Finding a support system is yet another step vital for coping with depressive symptoms, as it offers a network of understanding, encouragement, and guidance during the challenging transition period. A strong support system can consist of friends, family, neighbors, or even support groups, providing opportunities to share experiences, exchange advice, and build meaningful connections. By actively engaging with a support system, you can alleviate feelings of isolation, gain a sense of belonging in your new environment, and foster emotional well-being – all of which can ease the impact of this big life change.

How to Connect With Others and Build a New Community

Connecting with others is not an easy task for everyone, especially when you need to do so in a completely new environment and culture. However, note that you can start meeting new people during community gatherings, cultural festivals, or neighborhood activities. You can also seek out groups that align with your interests, such as sports teams, hobby clubs, or volunteer organizations, to connect with like-minded individuals.

If you’ve moved to a country with a different language, enrolling in language classes will not only help you break the language barrier and communicate more effectively but also provide an opportunity to meet fellow expats and locals. That being said, keep in mind that a friendly demeanor and willingness to engage in conversation can make it easier for others to approach you, opening the door to new friendships.

Building a new community takes time and effort. That is why it’s important to stay committed to engaging in social activities and cultivating connections, even if it feels challenging at first. If you need some more relocation hacks on how to meet new people abroad, don’t miss watching the video below:

Exploring Your New Home and Reaping the Benefits

Delving into your new surroundings and discovering new hobbies can significantly enhance your experience after relocating to a new city overseas. By actively engaging with your new environment, you can foster a sense of belonging and uncover hidden gems that enrich your life.

After getting international moving services, you can join guided tours to gain insights into your new area’s history, culture, and attractions. You can also explore museums, parks, historical sites, and other points of interest to develop a deeper appreciation for your new home and its unique offerings. Discover local flavors by visiting farmers’ markets, cafes, and restaurants. Embrace the culinary offerings of your new home, and you may even find a new favorite dish.

It’s also a good idea to take advantage of the natural beauty in your area by engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, or water sports. This can also help you stay physically active and mentally refreshed. Allow yourself to wander, take detours, and explore without a specific destination in mind. Embrace the unknown, and you may stumble upon exciting experiences and hidden treasures – and make the whole relocation experience more than worth your while.

Strategies for Adjusting to Life in a New Place

Adapting to a new routine and environment can be challenging, but by employing certain strategies, you can create a sense of stability that will make the transition easier. The most important thing to do after the move is to develop a consistent daily schedule that includes work, leisure, self-care, and social activities. Having a routine provides a sense of familiarity and structure that can help you adapt to your new surroundings.

A 2019 study conducted on university students found a connection between poor mental health and frequent relocation

You should also make time for activities that promote your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This may include exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. However, it’s also crucial to recognize that adjusting to a new place takes time, and it’s normal to experience feelings of frustration or disorientation.

How to Handle Relocation Depression When Moving Abroad

Hiring a reliable overseas shipping company, such as I Love International Moving, may ease the stress of transition. However, each international relocation brings a unique set of challenges that can cause relocation depression, such as language barriers, cultural differences, and distance from loved ones. The process of adapting to a new country, while exciting, can be overwhelming and may intensify feelings of isolation. However, by proactively addressing these challenges (as we described above) and seeking appropriate resources and support, you can effectively manage relocation depression and create a fulfilling life in your new home.

Suggestions for Accessing Resources and Support

Online forums, Facebook groups, and expat clubs are excellent resources for finding people who share your experiences. Additionally, there are numerous websites, apps, and platforms dedicated to helping expats navigate life in their new country. These resources can provide information on local mental health services, support groups, and community events.

Of course, keep in mind that you can always reach out to your country’s embassy or consulate, which may offer resources or guidance on accessing mental health support, local organizations, and other services for citizens living abroad.

When to Seek Professional Help for Post-Moving Depression

It’s essential to recognize when it’s time to seek professional help. Some indicators that you may need support from a mental health professional include:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood that lasts for more than a few weeks,
  • A significant change in appetite, sleep patterns, or energy levels,
  • Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed,
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness,
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions,
  • Withdrawal from social interactions or relationships,
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to reach out to a mental health professional who can provide guidance, support, and appropriate treatment. Several treatment options are available to help you manage post-relocation depression. These may include:


Talk therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or interpersonal therapy (IPT), can help you identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to your depression.


Antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), may be prescribed to help regulate mood and alleviate depressive symptoms.

Support groups

Joining a support group for individuals experiencing relocation depression or other mental health concerns can provide a safe space to share experiences, learn from others, and receive emotional support.

Cultural adjustment counseling

If you’ve moved internationally, working with a counselor who specializes in cultural adjustment can help you navigate the unique challenges of adapting to a new culture and environment.

Professional Help Can Also Come In the Form of an International Moving Company

Professional help in the form of an overseas moving company can significantly alleviate the stress and challenges associated with relocating to a new country. By helping you relocate efficiently and addressing potential issues, a reputable international moving company, such as I Love International Moving, can help reduce the anxiety and emotional toll often associated with this significant life change.

Working with us allows you to focus on other aspects of the relocation, such as adapting to your new environment, building a support network, and taking care of your mental health. Therefore, feel free to contact us and entrust the logistical aspects of the move to our professionals – and minimize the chance of negative feelings affecting your upcoming overseas relocation.


Why Do People Experience Depression After Moving?

People may experience depression due to various factors, such as leaving behind familiar environments, social networks, and routines. Relocating overseas often involves a significant life change, which can trigger feelings of loss, isolation, and uncertainty. Additionally, the stress of planning a relocation to another city and the complex logistics of shipping overseas can contribute to the development of depressive symptoms.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Depression After Moving?

Common include persistent irritability or sadness, fatigue, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and social withdrawal.

How Long Does Depression After Moving Typically Last?

The duration can vary widely among individuals. For some, symptoms may subside within a few weeks or months, while others may experience longer-lasting effects. Factors such as personal resilience, the availability of social support, and the ability to adapt to new surroundings after relocating across the world can influence the recovery process.

What Are Some Coping Strategies for Dealing With Depression After Moving?

Coping strategies include establishing a daily routine, maintaining healthy habits, seeking out social connections, and exploring a new environment. Engaging in physical activities, practicing relaxation techniques, and focusing on the relocation benefits can also help alleviate depressive symptoms.

How Can I Tell if I Have Relocation Depression or if It's Something More Serious?

If depressive symptoms persist or worsen despite implementing coping strategies, it may indicate a more serious mental health issue. Consulting with a mental health professional can help determine whether an individual is experiencing a more severe form of depression that may require treatment.

Can Depression After Moving Affect My Physical Health?

Yes, depression after moving internationally can affect physical health. Depression is often accompanied by changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and energy levels, which can lead to weight fluctuations, sleep disturbances, and a weakened immune system. Long-term depression can also increase the risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease.

What Are Some Lifestyle Changes I Can Make to Improve My Mental Health After Moving?

Lifestyle changes that can improve mental health after relocation include maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, managing stress effectively, and fostering social connections. Additionally, note that engaging in hobbies or interests and setting achievable goals can promote a sense of purpose.

Should I Talk to My Doctor About Depression After Relocating?

Yes, if you are concerned about your mental health, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance, assess the severity of your symptoms, and recommend appropriate treatment options if necessary.

Can Joining a Support Group Help With Depression After Moving?

Joining a support group can be beneficial for individuals experiencing depression after relocating abroad. Support groups provide a safe space to share experiences, connect with others facing similar challenges, and learn coping strategies. They can also help reduce feelings of isolation and promote a sense of belonging in the new environment.

How Can I Support a Loved One Who Is Experiencing Depression After Relocating?

Supporting a loved one feeling depressed after moving into a new house abroad involves offering empathy, encouragement, and understanding. Be open to listening to their concerns and feelings without judgment. Encourage them to seek professional help if needed and assist them in implementing coping strategies.

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