Moving Can Strain Your Mental Health: Here’s how to find support as a homeowner or renter in a new area

Whether you’re buying a home or renting, moving isn’t exactly easy. The process of moving comes with a lot of stress, and no matter how much you love your new space, there’s an adjustment period to be had. One of the adjustments you’ll have to navigate is, of course, related to healthcare. You have to find not just a new general doctor, a new dentist, but possibly, a new therapist as well. If you’re new to an area, or if it’s your first time seeking mental health therapy or counseling at all, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to finding a therapist or counselor. So, what do you do? 

How Can Moving Strain Your Mental Health? 

If you’ve moved to a new area recently, here are some concerns that you might be running into:

  • Stress. Again, it goes without saying that moving is stressful. Short-term implications of stress may include headaches, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, and more, while long-term impacts are more severe. 
  • Re-emergence of symptoms. If you live with a mental health condition such as anxiety or Bipolar disorder, you may notice that the pressure of the move triggers symptoms. 
  • Mixed feelings or nervousness. It’s normal to experience diverse emotions and worry about whether or not you made the right choice during the adjustment period that occurs after a move, even if you’re confident in your decision and know that it was the right thing to do. This usually passes in time, but it can be challenging nonetheless. 
  • Trouble adapting. It could be that you’re having trouble adjusting yourself, or it could be that you’re worried about a child (or multiple children) who are having trouble adapting to the move and new home so far.
  • Feeling lonely or out of place. This may be the case if you haven’t yet made friends in the area or if the move caused culture shock for you. Again, if you have kids, you might also feel nervous about whether they’ll struggle with making friends or feeling lonely. 

This is by no means an extensive list. You might also face difficulty finding a new job, stress related to caring for or decorating the new home, trouble with your spouse or partner, or something else. Moving can bring a wide array of unique struggles, and those struggles may vary based on your circumstances. Though caring for your mental health is always essential, with all of this in mind, it can be something to pay extra attention to during a move.

Finding Support In A New Area 

The task of finding mental health support in your new area can be daunting. Here are some ways to go about it: 

  • Use your insurance. If you aren’t established with insurance yet, you can learn more by going to healthcare.gov or your local equivalent. 
  • Search the web or use an online therapist directory. You can search for terms like “therapists near me OCD” to find a provider who works with a specific group or condition. To find an online therapist directory, you can use search terms like “therapist directory” using your search engine of choice. 
  • Talk to your new primary care physician. It’s smart to establish a new primary care provider when you move to a new area, and this might be your incentive to do so. During any doctor’s visit you attend, regardless of the main reason for the appointment, you can ask your doctor for a referral to a counselor or therapist near you. They’re there to help and should be able to send along a list of names or put you in touch with someone who can.
  • If you relocated for school, utilize your on-campus resources. Many colleges and universities have mental health counseling centers on-campus for both undergraduate and graduate students. If your school doesn’t have on-campus resources, they may have information about how to find mental health counseling or therapy in your new area. 
  • Use your employee assistance program or other relevant services, such as mental health resources available for veterans or the immediate family members of veterans. 
  • Use a local information hotline. If you’re in the United States, calling 211 can help you find local resources in many areas. This may be particularly beneficial if you’re seeking low-cost services. 

Online therapy is another excellent option. When you receive therapy online, you can talk with your therapist or counselor from the privacy of your own home or anywhere else with a reliable internet connection. It’s often more affordable than traditional in-person counseling or therapy, which is a major upside if you recently spent money on a move and new items for your home. Getting remote therapy or counseling can also help you cut the commute time out of your day as you adjust to your new living situation. 

Online Therapy 

Online therapy is a well-researched and effective way to access mental health support. If you’re considering online therapy, make sure that you choose a reputable online therapy platform with licensed providers. One example is BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers counseling plans for individuals, couples, and teens. There’s a broad range of providers who have various specialties on the BetterHelp platform, and using an online therapy platform like BetterHelp can help you find the right fit. When you sign up, you will take a short questionnaire that’ll aid you in finding a good match. You can also switch providers or cancel services at any time. Whether you’re going through stress related to the move, parenting, concerns related to love and relationships, grief, or anything else that’s on your mind, a therapist can help. No matter how you choose to find a therapist upon moving into your new home, don’t hesitate to take the first step and reach out today.

Guest Author

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.