The Emotional Side of Long-Distance Moving: How to Handle Homesickness

Moving to a new location is a significant life event. Whether it’s a local or long-distance move, it comes with a whirlwind of emotions. But for many, the exhilaration of starting fresh somewhere new is often tempered by an undeniable feeling of homesickness. This article aims to guide you through this emotional journey, offering tips and advice on how to cope with homesickness after a long-distance move.


Understanding Homesickness

Homesickness is a complex emotional response to change. It’s normal to experience a longing for what’s familiar — your old neighborhood, friends, family, and even your favorite haunts. These feelings of missing home can creep up on you days, weeks, or even months after you’ve settled in your new place.

This longing for the familiar, the safe, and the comfortable, combined with the stress of moving out of state or moving cross-country, can add to the challenges of settling into a new environment.

Tips for Managing Homesickness

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Firstly, understand that it’s okay to feel homesick. Acknowledging your feelings is an essential step in dealing with them. Don’t be too hard on yourself; after all, you’ve made a massive change in your life. Remember, it’s natural to miss home when you’ve just relocated, especially after a long-distance move.

Stay Connected with Loved Ones

Thanks to technology, staying connected with friends and family from back home is easier than ever. Regular video chats, phone calls, and texts can bridge the physical distance. Sharing your experiences and feelings with them can be therapeutic and reassuring.

Make Your New House Feel Like Home

Personalize your new space with photos, favorite decor, and items that remind you of home. Making your new house feel like home can help ease the transition and make your new environment more comfortable and familiar.

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Explore Your New Surroundings

Whether you’re moving to Portland or heading from Denver to Atlanta, take the time to explore your new city. Visit local attractions, discover new places, and try to meet new people. This process can make you feel more connected to your new home.

Stick to Your Routine

While it’s essential to try new things and experiences, sticking to your usual routine can bring comfort and normalcy. Whether it’s your morning run, afternoon tea, or Sunday movie night, these small rituals can make a world of difference.

Seek Professional Help

If feelings of homesickness persist or intensify over time, it might be a good idea to seek professional help. A mental health professional can provide strategies and techniques to help you cope.

homesick couple faq

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get over being homesick after moving?

Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel homesick. Stay connected with loved ones, explore your new surroundings, and make your new house feel like home. If homesickness persists or intensifies, it might be helpful to speak with a local mental health professional.

How long does homesickness last after moving? 

Homesickness can last for different periods of time for different individuals. It can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, and in some cases, even longer. It often diminishes as one becomes more comfortable and familiar with their new environment.

How do I cope with moving away from my family?

Staying in regular contact with your family, whether through phone calls, video chats, or texts, can be helpful. It’s also important to develop a support system in your new location. Meeting new people and forming friendships can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.

What are the emotional effects of homesickness? 

Homesickness can lead to feelings of sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. It can also manifest physically, leading to symptoms like headaches or stomachaches. In some cases, it can even lead to depression.

What is the reverse of homesickness?

The reverse of homesickness could be considered “wanderlust” or a strong desire to travel and explore new places.

feelings of guilt

Why is moving so hard emotionally?

Moving can be hard emotionally due to the stress of change, the sadness of leaving familiar surroundings and loved ones, and the anxiety of facing the unknown in a new location.

What does severe homesickness feel like?

Severe homesickness can feel like intense longing for the familiar, persistent sadness, difficulty concentrating, preoccupation with thoughts of home, and in extreme cases, symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Why is moving away from home so hard?

Moving away from home is hard because it involves leaving a familiar environment, stepping out of your comfort zone, and facing the uncertainty of a new place. It can also be challenging to leave family, friends, and other support networks.

Should I go home if I feel homesick?

In most cases, feelings of homesickness will lessen over time as you adjust to your new environment. However, if homesickness becomes severe or leads to feelings of depression, it may be worth considering a visit home or seeking professional help.

Why do I feel guilty for moving away from my family? 

Feelings of guilt when moving away from family are common, especially if you feel that you’re leaving your loved ones behind. This guilt may be magnified if your family is reliant on you or if you’re moving away from an elderly family member.

How do I let go of my family and move on?

Letting go doesn’t mean cutting off contact. It means acknowledging that moving on is part of life. Regular communication, visits when possible, and leveraging technology to stay connected can help ease the transition.

How does moving away from home change you? 

Moving away from home often results in personal growth. It can make you more independent, resilient, adaptable, and open-minded. It also provides opportunities to meet new people, experience different cultures, and gain new perspectives.

How do adults deal with homesickness?

Adults deal with homesickness in much the same way as children. Acknowledging the feeling, staying connected with loved ones, making the new environment feel like home, and exploring the new surroundings can be beneficial. If the homesickness persists or is severe, seeking professional help can also be an effective way to cope.

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Make the Best of Your Move

Long-distance moving brings about significant change and the feelings of homesickness that often accompany it. However, by acknowledging your feelings, staying connected with loved ones, and taking steps to acclimate to your new environment, you can manage these emotions effectively.

Remember, moving cross-country is an opportunity to start fresh and create new memories. And always seek help from professional movers who can take the physical stress of moving off your plate, so you can focus more on the emotional side of this journey.

For more tips and guidance on the practical and emotional aspects of long-distance moving, check out our Ultimate Guide to Interstate Moving. Here’s to new beginnings and a successful transition to your new home!

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