Moving To DC Can Be Hard – Talking to a DC Therapist Can Help
Whether you’re relocating to a new city or a new state, moving can take a significant toll on your mental health. At first, you might feel like you have a grip on everything—after all, securing your new address usually feels like the hardest part of a move. But between packing your belongings, hiring a moving company or moving truck, and searching for a new job, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
According to the New York Times, moving is an “intensely emotional experience.” Like any life transition, relocation comes with specific challenges, and it’s completely normal to feel anxious or depressed along the way. Even if you’re just relocating down the street, adjusting to a new home can be challenging. Here’s how to take care of your mind and body during your move to DC.
How does moving affect your mental health?
Moving away from everyone and everything that you’re familiar with can be an intensely stressful, emotionally draining experience. According to a 2014 study, moving contributes to loneliness because many family members aren’t close by. At the same time, exhaustion and stress can prevent you from socializing or stepping outside of your comfort zone. And the worse you feel, the less likely you are to engage in activities that contribute to your happiness.
People of all ages may need help coping with relocation depression or anxiety after relocating to a new state, as well as the associated mental health challenges and emotional issues that moving comes with. Some common mental health challenges that come with relocating include:
- No interest or pleasure in usual daily activities
- Increased alcohol or drug use
- Excessive time spent at home, scrolling through social media, or watching TV
- Increased irritability and anger in daily life
- Disrupted sleep patterns (i.e., insomnia or sleeping too much)
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
How can you overcome relocation depression?
Sometimes, even small life changes can be difficult to cope with—and moving is no small change. If you’re experiencing mental health problems after your move, you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition, or you’re facing mental health issues related to a medical condition, psychotherapy can help you start feeling better.
According to the American Psychological Association, forming a strong therapeutic relationship with your psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or social worker can make all the difference in your mental health treatment. If you’re in a new city, finding a psychotherapist who matches your preferences, age group, gender, or race/ethnicity can help you feel more comfortable, promoting better long-term mental health outcomes. When searching for a therapist, it’s also essential to pay attention to their credentials, accepted health insurance plans, and the length and availability of therapy sessions.
Once you find a good fit, you’ll be able to schedule your first session and start the therapeutic process. While there’s no particular type of talk therapy or modality for adjusting to change, psychodynamic psychotherapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) are the first-line treatments for a wide range of mental illnesses. Talking about your feelings with a psychotherapist, evaluating your behaviors after the move, and finding different ways to cope with stress can help you feel more content with your move.
If you’re feeling intimidated by in-person therapy, online therapy is also an option. Online therapy is a good option for many prospective clients, as it eliminates the hassle of commuting to and from the therapist’s office. To get started with online counseling, all you need to do is find a reliable online therapy platform and choose from the potential therapists in DC.
How To Find a Psychotherapist in DC
Even if you’re feeling stressed out, adjusting to a new location has some positives, too. New experiences are tied to happiness, and immersing yourself in a new city is the first step to meeting new people. But if you need some help getting yourself out there, finding the right therapist can help.
If you’re not sure where to start, reach out to a mental health professional through The Therapy Group of DC. We know how much stress movers are under—and we’ll help you find a compassionate, licensed therapist that matches your preferences and requirements so you can feel more comfortable.
Counseling is hard work, and it’s completely normal to feel unsure of yourself during the therapeutic process. One of our psychologists will help you navigate those feelings and explore different types of treatment so you can have the best experience in DC.