Picture the following:
You just moved from Washington, DC to Austin, TX, and you’re having a great time. You’re elated by the mild winters, the delectable barbecue, and the incredible live music. You’re meeting new people every week, and you love your new job. Until one day, the novelty of your new location wears off, and you’re not so happy anymore.
It hits you. You’re homesick, just like the people at the moving company insisted you would be. You wonder if it’s actually normal for a fully grown adult to feel this way.
As some of the most experienced movers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, take it from us: It’s completely normal! We’ve kept in touch with numerous long-distance moving clients over the years, and we’ve seen many of them go through the type of emotional rollercoaster we just described.
We’ve also picked up some pointers on how to deal with homesickness. Here are some of them.
Limit Contact With People Back Home. But Don’t Cut Them Out Of Your Life.
Striking the right balance between staying in constant touch with people back home and cutting off all communication can be a bit of a challenge. Spend too much time talking and texting with people from your hometown, and you can end up glued to your phone, which will keep you from interacting with people in your new location. But if you cut off all communication, you’ll lose valuable connections.
Here’s what we’ve found works best for our clients: Communicate with people back home as much as you want when you first arrive, but gradually scale things back as you make more friends. (Yes, that even means reducing communication with those friendly local movers Rockville MD!)
Early on, you can lean on your friends and family back home when you’re feeling homesick. But later on, see if going out with your new local friends can help alleviate your melancholy. You may be surprised.
Avoid Romanticizing Your Previous Life
Nostalgia is something we all experience, but it’s important that you recognize it for what it is.
As one of our expert movers Arlington VA told a former client: “If you had everything you needed here, you wouldn’t have had to leave.”
In other words, while it’s great to hold on to fond memories of the past, it’s important to recognize our tendency to view the past through rose-colored glasses. Don’t let an idealized perception of the past fool you into thinking your best years are behind you.
Pursue Some Social Hobbies
Traditionally, people try to make new friends by getting to know their coworkers. And people in their 20s and 30s often spend time trying to socialize in the bar scene. But environments involving work or nightlife can be very limiting.
Hobbies are not only great for your social life; they’ll also make you a happier person. From a 2018 New York Times Op-Ed:
Last spring, I forgot the word for hobby. I was on a hike with friends, and I was explaining how much happier my spouse had become recently after starting a band with some friends.
“It’s just nice for them, I think, to have this creative outlet that’s not their job,” I told my friends. “It doesn’t have to be something that brings them money, just something that lets them unwind and have fun.”
You’re more likely to connect with people if you share mutual interests, and you can interact in an environment where you can enjoy those interests together. There’s not much that alleviates homesickness better than connecting with other humans.
Do Some Volunteer Work
Volunteering isn’t only good for the world; it’s great for the health of the people who do it. That’s not just our opinion, it’s science. From Harvard Medical School:
Studies have shown that volunteering helps people who donate their time feel more socially connected, thus warding off loneliness and depression. But I was surprised to learn that volunteering has positive implications that go beyond mental health. A growing body of evidence suggests that people who give their time to others might also be rewarded with better physical health—including lower blood pressure and a longer lifespan.
Let’s see…volunteering allows you to make the world a better place, improve your physical and mental health, and meet genuinely nice people. Why wouldn’t someone want to spend more time volunteering?
We know from experience that volunteering is an excellent way to meet people. One of our movers in Maryland met his spouse while volunteering at a local soup kitchen.
Remember How Common Your Experience Is
We’ve been in this business for a long time, so we can tell you with the utmost confidence that homesickness after long-distance moving is pretty much a universal experience. So if you’re having a hard time, remember that what you’re going through is normal.
It’s not a sign that you made the wrong choice, or that you’ll never be as happy as you were in your hometown. As our mover in Virginia already noted, people move because it’s what they need to do.
We know that when our clients do what they need to do, they adjust and build joyful, fulfilling lives in new cities. If they can do it, so can you.