Choosing to move away from home in early adulthood is a noble decision. It’s not easy to leave your comfort zone, get out from under your parents, and become independent. But moving is worth pursuing if it’s doable for the positive impact it can have on your life, particularly when it comes to your mental health.
Moving Away Can Positively Impact Your Mental Health
Mental health is more than just your mood. It instructs your quality of life. You can fall into destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse, when your mind and emotional state aren’t in good places.
Conversely, a healthy mind and emotional stability grant you better relationships, a career you love, and a positive outlook on life.
There are many ways to improve your mental health, but moving to a new location is at the top of the list.
Experience Personal Growth
The personal growth that happens when you move out and become independent is profound.
People always say that growth happens when you’re uncomfortable. And that’s precisely what happens when you move away from home in early adulthood. You’re forced out of your comfort zone and into habits that help you mature and lead a responsible life.
Keep in mind that the personal growth you experience depends mainly on how intentional you are in your move.
It’s essential to choose a location that helps you achieve your personal growth goals. For example, if your goal is to make new social connections, move to an area that has a tight-knit community with plenty of volunteer opportunities. If you want to manage your stress better and get to know yourself more, move somewhere near nature that could help you explore that connection.
Make sure you’re in a place that offers lots of opportunities, helps you achieve your goals, and has anything else you need to feel good about where you are.
Leave Toxic Relationships and Circumstances Behind
Hundreds of thousands of children experience abuse every year in the U.S. A little over 1,800 children died in 2021 due to abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, sometimes abuse and neglect don’t stop until the child is old enough to move out on their own and take care of themselves.
If you continue to live in an abusive or toxic home, your mental health may also suffer as a result. Your self-esteem gets damaged. You’re in a constant state of stress. And conditions like anxiety and depression can worsen, especially when you’re not getting any sleep.
Maybe you were abused as a child and can now flee a toxic family household with your move. Escaping these toxic circumstances will help your mental and emotional health tremendously.
Build Resilience and Financial Sense
Although many young adults hesitate to leave home because of financial concerns, you may find out you’re more financially savvy than you realize. In many cases, you’ll have the independence to use your money for whatever you want, including mentally-enriching activities like travel. That being said, you must be responsible with your finances.
If you spend your money recklessly, you could potentially affect your credit score which could follow you around for years. On the other hand, these years are about building good habits. So, establish emergency savings as soon as possible, budget your income around necessary expenses such as your rent and utilities, and find ways to build up your credit score for large purchases such as a car. It may seem scary at first, but you’ll be surprised at how resilient you can be with this newfound freedom.
Tips For Ensuring Your Move Benefits Your Mental Health
You must go into your move with intention if you want to experience the benefits above. The actions you take before, during, and after your move will keep you on a path to better mental health if you do this the right way. Start with these actions to ensure your move benefits your mental health.
Plan Your Move
If you’re already struggling with your mental health, the last thing you need to do is add the stress of an unplanned move to your plate. Make sure you prepare for your move so that it’s as seamless as possible.
Determine when you’re moving and how. Hire movers well in advance if you need extra help getting your things to and in your new home. Create a packing list and pack in stages in the weeks leading up to your move.
It’s also important to solidify the support you have in your area. For example, do you have any friends or family nearby? Have you met your neighbors? Is your healthcare team in place? Do you have a job lined up?
You can focus on the happy parts of moving away from home when you have all the logistics handled on the back end.
Explore Therapy Options
Moving away from home is a huge life transition. You will go through many changes. The rollercoaster ride of life’s ups and downs won’t stop either. Having support from a mental health professional during this transition can be life-changing.
You can lean on them to help you process your emotions and thoughts regarding the move. They can help you mourn what you’ve left behind and establish a meaningful life for yourself in this new place.
Getting an in-person visit with a local therapist is challenging anywhere. But it can get even trickier when you’re trying to get your health insurance together after moving and aren’t familiar with the options available to you.
Online therapy can be just as impactful as in-person therapy. And it’s probably a better option during a transition like moving. This is because online therapy is flexible. You can take appointments when it’s convenient for you. You also have access to qualified providers outside of your local area.
Explore the therapy options that align with your needs and commit to going regularly to keep your mental and emotional health intact during and after your move.
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