Many of us have been through our fair share of stressful moves, but why is moving such a stressful process? Well, apart from literally having to pack up your life into boxes and move them to another location, you are also leaving behind memories and your familiar surroundings. Change can be challenging to process for many of us — especially if it is a significant change like moving to a new city or house. A lot of times we also move because of work so we might jump into a number of different surroundings in all aspects of our lives.
Another part of the moving process that is incredibly stressful is that when we move, we tend to focus all our attention and time on it. As a result, we tend to put our lives on pause — whether this means taking rain checks on invites to hang out with friends or taking a break from hobbies. Devoting all of our focus and attention to moving can make the process even more stressful because we always think about how much still remains to do.
The final big stressor when it comes to moving is one of the most significant stressors. Money. Moving can be expensive — even if you pride yourself on being a minimalist. You still will need to rent or purchase the tools you need to make a move, and you may find yourself in need of new furniture or appliances when you move to your new home.
These three main stressors of moving are by no means the only things that can cause stress during the moving process, but they do make up a lot of the stress that is generally associated with moving.
Symptoms of Stress
We’ve established that moving can be incredibly stressful, but what exactly does this look like for us?
There are four primary ways that stress can affect us: emotionally, physically, behaviorally, and mentally.
Emotional stress is the type of stress that many of us associate with moving. After all, we are moving to an unfamiliar place and leaving behind the life we have been living for a while now. This can make us feel anxious, insecure, and like we are no longer in control of our lives.
These feelings can present themselves in many different ways, but you should keep an eye out for:
- Difficulty relaxing
- Increased anger
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Sadness about leaving your current home
There are many physical symptoms of stress that you should watch out for. When left unchecked (or not properly dealt with), stress can cause us to feel many physiological symptoms that can be potentially dangerous for our overall health.
Some symptoms to keep an eye out for are:
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Aches and pains
- Upset stomach or nausea
Many people may overlook behavioral indicators of increased stress by chalking them up to being “busy” or “preoccupied” with moving. But, if you notice yourself feeling in any of these ways, you may want to take some extra time for yourself to deal with the stress you are experiencing.
Watch out for these common symptoms:
- Sleeping more than 10 hours a night
- Avoiding responsibilities
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Not feeling like yourself
- Losing interest in hobbies or activities you enjoy
- Wanting to drink, do drugs, or overeat
When we are stressed, it is challenging for our minds to function at peak capacity. Think about it like this, if you are constantly thinking about something, your brain is devoting so much of its energy to processing that thing and putting everything else on the back burner. This is (to no one’s surprise) incredibly unhealthy.
Some mental symptoms of stress are:
- Lacks of organization
- Constant worrying
- Short attention span or inability to focus
- Negative thinking
- Impaired judgment
- Difficulty perceiving time correctly
How to Manage Your Move
There is no doubt that moving is going to be tough. There are a lot of aspects of your current life that may not be able to move with you. But your move does not have to cause endless stress and sadness. These tips can help you manage your move without forgetting to take care of yourself.
Recognize Your Feelings Are Normal
First thing first, moving is complicated, and your feelings are entirely normal. You may be experiencing a mix of emotions. This is normal. You can be excited and anxious at the same time. You can be sad about leaving your current home and eager to settle into your new one simultaneously.
Moving takes a lot of planning. It also always seems to take more time than you think, so the earlier you start (at least the planning part), the better off you’ll be. Starting your move early could be as simple as researching the new location you’ll be moving to. Maybe map out the best-sounding restaurants, so you don’t have to worry about cooking in a half-unpacked kitchen.
If you leave everything to the last minute, you will be stressed and running around trying to get everything done in one day.
Don’t Forget Self-Care
It can be easy to get caught up in boxing up your life. Unfortunately, in our rush to get everything done quickly, we can completely forget to take care of ourselves.
Maybe save your face masks, bath bombs, favorite relaxing reads, tea collection, and other fun self-care items for last when it comes to packing. This way, you can use these items without worrying about un-doing the work you’ve been doing by digging through boxes or neglecting your much-needed self-care time by deciding you’ll use them again when you unpack in your new home.
If someone offers to help you, it is because they want to. We all know how tiring moving can be. Your loved ones want to be there to help take some of that burden off your shoulders so you can enjoy the process more. So, don’t feel like you are inconveniencing people by accepting their help — if they did not want to help, they would not have offered.
Leave Time for Goodbyes
There is nothing worse than the feeling of being deprived of a good goodbye. Especially if you are moving away from family and friends that you will not be able to see often, it is crucial to make time for goodbyes. Maybe this means going out for a night with your friends or having dinner with your parents. Whatever it means for you, just make sure you include it in your moving plans!
See a Therapist
If you’ve tried all these things and are still experiencing a lot of stress about your move, it may be a good idea to talk to a therapist. Professional therapists can be an excellent resource for you to learn how to better manage your stress and develop techniques that can help you relax and take the time you need.
If you need additional help managing your stress, please do not hesitate to reach out to us today at Love Heal Grow to make an appointment with one of our therapists.