Clifford Zeller MD

Relocation to Colorado

Relocation is considered a very high life stressor for many reasons both physical and emotional. There are the practicalities of finding new “everythings”- including a new doctor for medication and psychotherapy.  Not only do you need to find a new provider but you need to find a new “good fit”.  I work to assist with this by listening carefully to what was helpful or not helpful in your previous treatment so that we can build on that, rather than start over.

It is also good to have a fresh view and a new opportunity to try new things. My office will strive to get you in for an appointment in a timely manner so that you do not have to worry about continuity of care or medication running out. We also support your doing a few follow-up phone or Skype visits with your previous doctor to aid with transition.

There are common reactions with a long-distance move. Once a decision has been made it’s not unusual to have “geographical regret” and second thoughts about having made the decision. Sometimes feeling trapped with panic attacks and anxiety reactions that had been dormant will come back. There can be physical effects on the body that are nature’s way of getting ready to be in a new unpredictable environment including a fast heart rate and blood pressure or G.I. stimulation.

Getting used to new environment is never easy. The body needs to adjust to a new time zone and new climate and weather patterns in our dry and sunny climate. This may feel very different. “Cultural” attitudes and behaviors vary from city to city and can include freeway driving patterns -the distances between cars versus tailgating or passing patterns. Adjusting to a new environment can take some time and can cause actual physical discomfort. Sometimes we need to push back the pressure of the fight or flight reflex, or the yearning to go back to our previous environment where we felt safe.

We realize how important the “back home” relationships have been and miss family and friends. However unexpectedly, we may feel rejection from those in our previous location- they may be reacting to our moving away by pushing us away as well. This surprise can be painful and we can relive previous relationship disappointments or losses from the past. There can be disappointment that the move has not solved some of our other emotional burdens because as the saying goes “we take our own selves with us”.

We may be forced to deal with nasty movers or new landlords or real estate agents who may not be sensitive to our feelings. In terms of family, if we move with a spouse or significant other, the dynamic of that relationship may change based on their reactions to the move.

Sometimes we can feel let down or misled by a recruiter or new employer who may have promised more than the job actually turned out to be.

Here are some tips to get through the stressful time:

  • Call family or friends who also gone through moves and may have experienced similar feelings to get their support and understanding.
  • Keep yourself busy with a full schedule that’s rather structured. If you have empty times in your day make yourself go out to local stores or sit in the coffee shop just to be around people.
  • Try to get some daily physical exercise-  Walk or be outdoors if you can – to become comfortable in the new environment.
  • Expect that your friends and relationships from your previous city will change but that that doesn’t mean you will lose them entirely.
  • Remember that anything worth changing or doing will create some anxiety and that the anxiety is okay because it means you’re challenging yourself.
  • Find a group that shares your interests in a hobby or activity such as hiking, skiing, gaming, music, or books.
  • Consider joining a volunteer organization or a religious organization for both the  personal satisfaction involved as well as meeting others.
  • Please avoid excessive alcohol or drugs or using these activities as a way to connect to people
  • Maintain enthusiasm for the decision you made and move from apprehensive ambivalence towards positive excited enthusiasm.
  • Believe in your basic competency and that you have the capabilities to make these changes and face these challenges.

Above all, work on the mindset that Colorado is your new home and allow yourself to fall in love with it