Updated: Jan 5
When people move, they often experience a boost in their mental health. But that doesn’t mean moving is anything more than just a superficial reset of the body. Often, climate and mental health co-relate. It might be time to invest more time into finding out the true impact of location on mental health and what it seems like to make relocation work with your own life. What happens with climate change and mental health?
Moving can be very stressful, but it is also rewarding. Here are some potential solutions that could help you with the stress you may feel while trying to wrap your head around what is happening after moving!
1. Maintain contact with your friends and family:
People who relocate face an uphill battle when it comes to retaining their emotional and social support. One of the best ways to combat this is maintaining your friendships and emotional bonds of support. When you move, you might feel more isolated. It’s natural to fear that your wider social network has withered away, but don’t shy away from trying to keep in contact with those close to you! In the course of your transition, cut “unnecessary” ties only if they have negatively affected your day-to-day life.
2. Start a new routine:
The chore of adjusting to a new routine can be grueling, but is crucial in keeping your stress levels in check. While you may be eager to dive into your new location and start exploring, you need to take some time to develop a daily routine that will help you feel grounded. Take out time each day to explore your new location and don’t rush yourself. Most importantly, enjoy the process!
3. Take control of your finances:
It’s important to keep a healthy separation between what you pay for and how you feel. Whether you were saving up for a new home, vacation, or other luxury, it is best to maintain some sort of distance from the details of your financial commitment. When you move, it becomes even more difficult to do this. You are going to want to make changes in your life, so take as much time as necessary to figure out how much you can afford and how long it will take before these expenses begin adding up significantly.
4. Unplug—or at least lower your daily activities:
While it is completely normal to want to make “me time” a priority, one of the biggest mistakes you could make is trying to multitask in every moment of your day. You cannot take every opportunity that comes up to go out with friends or socialize as much as you want. It would be a good idea to set aside some time each day where you can sort of sheer yourself from the world so that you do not get overwhelmed by the thought of how many options are available to you. Just remember, the world is always going to be around when you come back!
5. Practice self-compassion:
This might sound like an overstatement, but asking for advice and help from others is essential to new arrivals. You will likely find yourself in situations where you are forced to reach out to friends, family, and/or acquaintances. Use this time as an opportunity to reach out not just for emotional support, but also practical support. You may want to ask a friend or family member if they know of any local places or jobs that may be a good fit for you.
6. Take on hobbies:
It is important to invest in hobbies that can help you feel more fulfilled during your time away from home. Some suggestions include finding a local gym, seeing a local theater or movie, and attending community events where you can learn about the culture of your new location. Not to forget, spending time with friends and family is always great too, but it’s best to have hobbies that help you feel fulfilled, no matter what.
Also Read: Expressive Art Therapies in Mental Health
7. Learn about your new city:
When you move to a new location, you may not have advanced knowledge of the history or culture of the area where you are moving. Learning about this history before making a decision about whether you want to move is beneficial for many reasons! First off, learning more about the place where you live allows you to explore what it has to offer in terms of jobs and services, as well as the cultural offerings that are both physical and intangible. Secondly, learning about the history of this location can help you develop a deeper connection with the city, whether it is the thought of the old historic architecture or some deep-rooted sense of patriotic pride for your new home. Thirdly, learning more about the culture of your new location gives you an opportunity to explore other people’s ideas and beliefs. It’s important to explore as much as possible in order to make an informed decision that will give you confidence when moving.
8. Start socializing with others:
Despite your best efforts, relocating is stressful. It can be good to get out of your house, regardless of where you are living! It’s also important to make friends in your new location. Breaking the isolation that moving sometimes brings about is one way for people to feel less stressed. Working on becoming a part of the community is instrumental in feeling more motivated to explore this area.
9. Take breaks:
This is an important reminder that you should be aware of! It’s good to take time out of your day (or week!) to relax, but it’s also important to take breaks from your day-to-day life. Develop a pattern in your daily routine where you can have time for yourself and step away from the hectic nature of trying to adjust to a new city.
10. Stay true to yourself:
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s not always easy! Emotional changes happen when we relocate and this can affect how we see ourselves and others. We can start to lose sight of who we really are, especially when surrounded by new places, faces, and ways of life. It might be a good idea to keep a journal or participate in some other way where you can write down all your thoughts about the changes you notice in yourself. You should aim to stay emotionally healthy during this transition so that you can continue to grow as both an individual and member of the human race.
Whether you are moving for a short period of time or a longer time period, the transition will inevitably bring with it frustrations, new surroundings, and all sorts of other stressors that can make moving problematic. There are several effects of climate change on mental health. And these effects could be positive or negative. It’s important to remember that you are only human and will experience some common stress-inducing thoughts during the relocation process.