Relocating to another city and moving away from your family is not only stressful, but it also needs a lot of courage to adjust to the new environment. A person moving to another city feels a physical as well as emotional toll. Not only this, the person also has to help his/her family to adjust with the idea of moving to a new location. The situation becomes more difficult if the person moving away from the family easily gets home sick.
This article focuses on those who are moving away from their families for the first time and are worried about how the family members will manage to live without them.
It is very important to understand that homesickness has nothing to do with moving away from your residence. It is actually the overwhelming fear of moving away from family that not only discourages the person from moving to a new city, but also takes an emotional toll on his/her friends and family (Norris et al., 2014).1 One of the best ways to overcome the emotional trauma and help your family adjust with the idea of your relocation is to start preparing yourself and your family before moving.
Here are some tips that can help you do so:
1. Prepare Yourself
Norris, in an article about relocating, mentioned that the best way to overcome the fear of moving to a new location and living on your own is to research about it. It is highlighted that people hear stories from their friends and colleagues about moving abroad and form a perception. So it is very important for them to do research about the ways through which they can quickly adjust to a new environment. The author said that in order to comfort the family, it is important to calm your nerves first. The article also highlighted the fact that reading about the history and culture of the new city can help you in adjusting to the new environment.
2. Convey Excitement
According to an article published in Family Caregiver Alliance (2012)2, it is highlighted that an easy way to help family overcome the emotional trauma is to covey excitement about your relocating. The article pointed out the fact that if the person himself shows excitement then his friends and family will also happy for him/her. Therefore, people moving abroad are advised to think about the benefits of moving to another city instead of thinking about moving away from their family and friends (Barnes, 2013).5
3. Arrange Farewell Parties
The article published in Family Caregiver Alliance also highlighted that arranging cheerful farewell parties are better than bidding teary goodbyes. The article emphasized on considering moving to another city as a major event of your life. It is also mentioned that parties and get-togethers give a person motivation and boost his/her confidence. An easy way to lighten the mood of the party is to avoid talking about relocation (Dachis, 2013).4
Derrick (2010)3 in an article about the post-relocation challenges discussed a number of ways through which a person can help his/her family overcome the emotional trauma. The person can engage himself in a number of activities to divert his/her mind, but it is difficult for the family members to overcome stress and depression.
According to Derrick, these simple tips can help a person comfort his/her family members after moving to another city:
1. Make the Most of Networking
The networking tools have literally shortened the distance. So, keep in touch with the family members as much as possible. One can make the most of technology tools like video calling, Skype and make the family members feel that you are virtually present with them.
2. Write Regularly
Derrick highlighted that during the initial days, it is not easy for some people to talk to their family due to emotional trauma. So it is better to write them instead of calling or video chatting. For example, if you are depressed and cannot conceal their sadness, then don’t talk to your family via phone. Write them about your well-being and assure them that you are happy.
3. Talk about the New Location
One must keep in mind that when talking to your family, don’t discuss about yourself. Discuss about your life and the new location. The author said to try to avoid emotional conversations. Talking about other things will keep the conversation light and cheery.
1. Norris B., Rousell N. (2014). Relocating Overseas: The Emotional Side. InterNations GmbH.
2. Family Caregiver Alliance. (2012). Home Away from Home: Relocating Your Parents.
3. Derrick H. (2010). Homesickness isn't really about 'home'.
4. Dachis (2013). Why You're So Afraid of Change (and What You Can Do About It).
5. Banes AH. (2013). Moving your career to another city.
Christie Hunter is registered clinical counselor in British Columbia and co-founder of Theravive. She is a certified management accountant. She has a masters of arts in counseling psychology from Liberty University with specialty in marriage and family and a post-graduate specialty in trauma resolution. In 2007 she started Theravive with her husband in order to help make mental health care easily attainable and nonthreatening. She has a passion for gifted children and their education. You can reach Christie at 360-350-8627 or write her at christie - at - theravive.com.