How to Deal With Moving Away From Your Family

by Lucie Westminster

    A move can be the start of a new adventure that may lead to better opportunities. However, if this change means moving away from your family, you are likely left with feelings of uncertainty or sadness. Dr. Edward Creagan of the Mayo Clinic recommends accepting the change and then moving forward by taking active steps to cope with situation. Make sure to allow yourself time to make peace with the move and take care of yourself during this difficult transition.

    Items you will need

    • Phone
    • Computer or video-chatting technology device
    • Family photos
    Step 1

    Agree upon a set time to talk with your family on the phone. Depending on your personal preference and schedule, this may be daily, weekly or less often. At the beginning, it's better to schedule more frequent chats than you feel you may need and slowly back off as you feel more comfortable in your new environment. Having a planned time to hear from your family gives you the peace of mind of knowing you will soon talk to your family regardless of your busy schedule.

    Step 2

    Decide who will visit who first, set a date and make travel plans before you move to your new location. Knowing when you will see your family again will help you cope with the time apart. Mark this visit on your calendar and start a countdown so you have the visit to look forward to as you begin life in the new location.

    Step 3

    Use a variety of technology-based communication methods to keep in close contact with your family. Emailing or using social media allows you to check on your family instantly and throughout the day, allowing you to feel connected even if you are far apart physically. Video chatting via computers or cell phones also allows you to "see" your family and view family events.

    Step 4

    Choose a few of your favorite family photos and place them throughout your new home. If you enjoy crafting, create a photo collage of your family instead of using framed photos. Seeing the familiar faces of your loved ones provides a sense of closeness and helps preserve your feelings of connection.

    Step 5

    Join a social group, sports team or volunteer organization as soon as you are settled in your new location. It's important to make new friends and meet new people very soon after your move. While these new friends never replace your family members, having local people to count on helps you feel less isolated and gives you a local support group.

    Step 6

    Exercise. Walking, biking and swimming contribute to your overall health and, according to the Mayo Clinic, also help to improve your mood. When you are feeling down about missing your family, a simple stroll through your new neighborhood causes the release of certain brain chemicals that naturally help relieve some of the sadness or loss you may feel.

    Tip

    • Speak to a licensed psychologist, counselor or your physician if your feelings of sadness related to missing your family seem out of proportion to the situation or linger for extended periods of time.

    About the Author

    Based in Texas, Lucie Westminster has been a writer and researcher since 1975. Her work has been published in journals such as "Psychological Reports" and "Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior." Westminster's interests include developmental psychology, children, pets and crafting. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from Miami University.

    Photo Credits

    • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images