Moving is one of the most stressful life events that you can experience. While it is fun and exciting to start a new chapter in your life, actually planning a move is a major headache. From finding a reliable moving company to packing up all of your worldly possessions, the moving process is not easy
Not only that, there is still a lot of unknowns in the moving process. Will you like your new community? Will your loved ones have a hard time adjusting to their new surroundings? If you are considering a move and only thinking about the positive aspects, you might want to consider the impact that moving stress will actually have on your family. Then you will want to develop strategies for coping with the ordeal to have as stress-free of a move as possible.
Why Is Moving Stressful?
Moving is stressful because you are uprooting the life and routines you are used to, and transitioning to a new home that you haven’t developed any attachments to. In addition, your family members might have conflicted feelings, which you also have to manage. Furthermore hiring professional movers, juggling finances, and packing your belongings are all mentally taxing tasks that can’t be avoided.
Even if you are moving away from a bad situation, the uncertainty surrounding what your life a new place will be like can cause anxiety and stress.
Top stressors related to moving:
- Real estate woes
- Last minute surprises
- Family disagreements
- Financial issues
- Dealing with lost items
- Adjusting to your new community
These are just a few of the stressful things that can arise when relocating to a new home. While it is normal to feel stressed during a move, here are several strategies to keep your freak-outs to a minimum.
1. Give Your Self Enough Time.
One of the worst things you can do is wait until the last minute to plan your move. Of course you dread packing boxes, calling movers and sorting through your stuff. But putting it off won’t do you any favors.
“It turns out that the sweet spot is about six weeks out for your first actionable item,” says Alan Lopez, editor-in-chief at HireAHelper.com.
Lopez said about six weeks before you move you should decide which moving service you will use so you can reserve it on time. You should also start the process of purging old items to lighten your load.
Four weeks out you should be finding moving boxes, notifying utilities and filling out change of address forms, Lopez says.
“Finally, three weeks out from your moving day is when the real heavy-duty stuff starts happening: reserving a truck, booking a moving crew, and getting packing!” Lopez said.
2. Ask For Help
Moving by yourself is never fun, even if you don’t have a lot of stuff. The same goes for packing up your stuff. To make your move less stressful, don’t hesitate to reach out to friends or family to help out. And if you have your own family, make sure all members of the household pitch in to do their part.
If you don’t want to impose on friends but are determined not to hire a professional moving company, Lopez says to try searching for moving labor by the hour to help with the heavy stuff.
“It’ll make your move considerably less stressful, and tends to cost hundreds, sometimes thousands less than hiring a full-blown moving company with a one-size-fits-all quote,” Lopez says.
3. Get Enough Sleep.
Chances are you laying awake at night worrying about what life will be like in your new home. Or maybe you are staying up late because you waited until the last minute to pack. Either way, it is important to make sure you are getting enough sleep during the moving process.
“Sleep impacts your stress hormones and when you don’t get enough sleep, you actually increase the amount of stress in your body. It also impacts your cognitive ability, which can lead to an increase risk of injury during the move,” says Lori Miranda, co-founder of the health coaching app Wellbody.
Miranda adds that lack of sleep has been known to reduce alertness and decrease reaction times. Even a moderate amount of sleep deprivation has been shown to inflict the same level of impairment as two drinks of alcohol.
Miranda says if you are feeling stressed out about your move, try writing down all the things you are worried about on a piece of paper.
“This gives a name to your anxieties and has been shown to help lessen their impact. This also helps with sleep, because often it is stress or anxiety that disrupts our sleep patterns,” Miranda says.
4. Maintain Old Routines.
There are few things in life that are more disruptive than moving. And if you are moving to a new city, or even a new state, you’ll have to figure out new places to eat, shop, and just hang out.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a point to maintain some consistency in your daily life, even while you are in the midst of your transition.
If you always end your night with a warm cup of tea and a book, make sure to have those items on hand during your move. Do you always go to the gym or for a run? Be sure to make time to get some reps in, even if it is a few push-ups in the bathroom. Keeping up with some of your most important routines will go a long way towards helping you cope during the big move.
5. Meet New Neighbors.
Settling in to a new house in a new neighborhood can take some getting used to. There might be a sneaking feeling inside that you don’t quite belong. This can cause a whole lot of undue stress as you unpack your belongings and start setting up your home.
Taking a moment to meet your neighbors can help dispel some of that stress and discomfort. Not knowing anybody in a new city can be intimidating, but once you break the ice you will start to feel a great sense of belonging. If knocking on your neighbor’s front door isn’t your style, head into town for a craft night or get a drink at the local watering hole and meet some locals that way.
6. Focus on the Positive.
No matter what you are going through, or how difficult your move is, just remember the reasons you are moving. It might be that you are moving to make a life change, start a new career, start a new family, or just because you weren’t satisfied with your old place.
Whatever the reason, moving is filled with new beginnings and the opportunity to start fresh. Once you are all moved in you will be able to start enjoying your new life!