on Jun 25, 2020.
Moving someplace new – away from home, family, friends, habitual places, and established routines – is very exciting but also quite daunting and disquieting. Even if you really wanted to move, felt stuck in your old world, and were eager for a fresh start, after a while the elation and novelty will wear off and you’ll start feeling nostalgic for your old home and your old life.
Being homesick after moving is natural – and quite common. It may be caused by fear of the unknown or sadness for all that is left behind. Either way, homesickness is a longing for the familiar – the security and comfort of your old home, the predictability of your old routine, the support of your loved ones and the joy of being with them. Overcoming that feeling of nostalgia, depression, and anxiety is not easy – but it is totally feasible.
Here is how to get over homesickness after moving, so you can have a happy new life in your new surroundings.
Identify the source of your homesickness
To successfully deal with a problem, you need to understand its origins. So, when dealing with homesickness after moving, first you need to find out why people feel homesick.
It is said that homesickness comes from the human need for connection and security. Therefore, your feelings of
s might have nothing to do with your old home:
You may be sad about losing your comfort zone, being away from people you care about, not having access to something (or somewhere) you like, etc.;
You may be lonely and uncertain in your new surroundings;
Your new place may not be meeting your expectations or may be posing unexpected challenges.
So, when you feel anxious, depressed, and nostalgic after moving, you need to ask yourself whether you’re unhappy with your new situation or you’re just missing your old life. And, if it is the latter, it’s crucial to realize what exactly you’re missing from your old world.
You’ll be missing loved ones that stayed behind, of course, and you may be missing some specific places and/or specific things from your old surroundings. But apart from that, you’ll probably just be missing the certainty that came with having a habitual routine. And when you think about it, you’ll realize that in a little while you’ll have routines in your new home too – and will find places that you like; and will engage in activities that you like; and will meet people that you like. You just need to embrace your new life.
So, is it normal to feel homesick after moving? Yes, it is and like everything else, acknowledging your feelings and finding out what causes your homesickness is the first step in figuring out how to handle it.
There are two main ways to deal with homesickness after moving – stay in touch with your old world and focus on your new life.
Keep in touch with loved ones – but do not get obsessed with it
Parting with loved ones is the hardest part of moving away – you’re going to miss family and friends who stayed behind, there are no two ways about it.
Yet, being physically away doesn’t mean you’ll stop caring about one another or stop supporting each other. You won’t be able to see your loved ones every day and spend as much time together as you used to, but you can still be a part of each other’s lives.
Thanks to today’s technology you can get immediate connection – you can call and text your family and your buddies back home, use the social media to check on your friends and relatives, take advantage of video chats to talk to your loved ones face to face, email them, etc. You can also write real letters that will bring you a lot of warm feelings (seeing your loved ones’ handwriting will evoke myriad emotions and memories) and will make you excited to check your post box every day.
Despite the physical distance between you, you can easily keep in touch, share your experiences, thoughts, and emotions with your family and friends, let them know what’s going on in your life (and learn what’s going on in theirs), and feel connected. (See also:
How to keep in touch with friends after moving
Keep in mind though that while staying in touch with loved ones will make it easier to
cope with moving away
, too much communication will prolong your homesickness problem. You need to get used to being away from family and friends, to become independent and self-reliant, and to make new social connections in your new area – be careful not to focus on your old friends so much that you don’t have time to make new ones.
Allow yourself to be sad – but use the nostalgia to your advantage
There is nothing wrong with feeling homesick, sad, and nostalgic after moving – accept your feelings and allow yourself to grieve for the loss of your old life. Just do not let the longing for the good old days keep you from appreciating your new life and opening yourself to new experiences.
As much as you may miss your old life, try not to idealize the past – people tend to remember the good stuff and forget the bad when they’re away, but you need to acknowledge that things weren’t perfect where you lived before. Don’t think that your present can’t live up to your past – and stop comparing everything and everyone in your new location to things and people in your old surroundings. If you focus on the contrast between past and present, you’ll never be able to appreciate your new world and overcome your homesickness.
Actually, it will be best if you can use nostalgia to your advantage – look at the most positive aspects of your old life and recreate them in your new one. Your nostalgia will help you identify what makes you happy, so you can incorporate these things into your new routine and build a happy new life for yourself.
How to overcome relocation depression
Give yourself time
Whether you start feeling homesick as soon as you leave your old place or several weeks after the move when the initial excitement of your new life has faded away, do not be quick to give in to your distress – relax, focus on your post-relocation tasks, and try to restore a sense of normalcy to your life.
The stress and exhaustion of the moving process make it hard to deal with change in a positive way – you need time to wind down after the relocation and
sort out your emotions
. After a while, you may find out that you really like your new area.
Make your new place feel like home
It will be much easier to get over homesickness once you begin feeling at home in your new place. Having a personal sanctuary where you feel safe and comfortable will bring back the sense of security and ease that you miss so much.
So, be quick to unpack your items after the move, make the living space functional and cozy, and surround yourself with things you love. Recreate your old home decor to bring a feeling of familiarity to your new place – display your favorite artwork, place your best-loved books on the shelves, hang the same curtains you had in your old bedroom, etc. Focus on items with high sentimental value like photographs, souvenirs, and keepsakes – being surrounded by things that remind you of your old world will make you feel more anchored in your new home while also keeping you connected to your old one.
How to make your new place feel like home
Create new routines
Doing the same thing over and over again creates familiarity – and, therefore, security. So, if you’re feeling homesick after moving, building a routine will help. Just make sure you mix the old with the new:
Keep your new routine as similar to your old one as possible to bring a sense of normality back to your life – go to bed and wake up at the same time as you used to, have meals at the same time, go through your day in the same way you did before the move, etc. Keep traditions alive (go to the movies every Saturday night, prepare a special meal every Sunday, etc.), so you can feel like yourself and have a peace of mind knowing that all is as it should be;
Add new elements to your routine in accordance with your new surroundings and your new community. Embrace the opportunity to incorporate new things in your daily life and change everything you didn’t like in your old routine. Make sure you create new traditions too – even something as simple as going to a local restaurant every Friday evening is a step toward putting down new roots and getting over your homesickness.
How to adjust to a new environment
Get to know your new world
As anxious and vulnerable as you may feel after moving away from familiarity, staying home and keeping to yourself will only exacerbate your homesickness. To get over your sadness and distress, you need to get to know your new world – and open yourself up to new experiences and new people.
Get out of the house and explore your new area – locate key places in the vicinity, visit attractions, try out nearby restaurants, find the local hotspots, etc. The more familiar you become with your new surroundings, the safer and more comfortable you’re going to feel in your new environment;
Take advantage of what your new area has to offer – Do what you have always enjoyed doing (engaging in familiar activities will bring you comfort and peace of mind when feeling homesick after moving) but be sure to try new things too. Take up a new hobby, learn a new skill, find interesting things to do around town, etc. – the new experiences will raise your spirits and make you appreciate your new area. They will also put you in touch with many new people;
Meet new people and make new friends – meet your new neighbors, get involved in the community life, take every opportunity for social interaction you have, be approachable, etc. The more people you know, the more connected you will feel to your new world and the easier it will be to deal with feelings of isolation and homesickness.
In order to build a strong support network, you need to put yourself into situations where you can meet people who have similar interests with yours – join clubs and organizations dedicated to something you’re passionate about, engage in social activities you find interesting and enjoyable, volunteer for causes you believe in, etc. It’s easy to build relationships around commonalities, so you’ll have a supportive social circle – and some good new friends – real soon. (See also:
How to make friends after moving
Get excited about your new life
The best way to overcome homesickness after moving is to begin to love your new world – so, instead of mourning what you’ve left behind, focus on the good things in your new area. Find something to be excited about – your new job, your new home, your new friends, your new hobby, etc. – and throw yourself in it. Before you know it, you’ll find your place in your new world and will begin to thrive in your new life. Happy moving!