Moving is Tough Enough. Here’s How to Manage an Emotionally Charged Change

“Change is stressful; moving is change.” 

Granted that’s not the happiest of mantras; however, it does ring true for many of us. The National Institutes of Health defines stressful events as “occurrences that are likely to bring about readjustment, requiring changes in people’s usual activities.” No wonder moving is often cited as one of the top five stressful experiences you’re likely to encounter, right up there with job loss and divorce. 

That doesn’t mean you have to give into your emotions. Here are a few tips and tricks for helping you dial down the anxiety and make your move a lot more pleasant.  

Familiarity Breeds Contentment 

Many emotions that emerge during a move come from a fear of the unknown. After all, you have set routines and relationships where you are right now and the idea of all this changing can feel overwhelming. First of all, it’s important to recognize that these feelings are completely normal. Instead of focusing on the potential negative impact of change, think of your move as a fresh start.  

You’ll have a new home to settle into and decorate, new friends to meet and a whole new town to explore and make your own. Don’t forget to do your research: the more familiar you are with where you’re moving before you arrive, the less stressed you’ll be once you get there. Check out our suggestions for navigating this transition and settling in comfortably.  

Planning Ahead Puts You in Charge 

If you’re not naturally good at planning and organizing, moving can create a tsunami of anxiety. You have a lot of decisions that need to be made — many of them quickly — which can lead to feeling lost or out of control of the situation. Again, you’re not alone. In fact, the American Medical Association cites “decision fatigue” as a major cause of emotional distress.  

That said, relief can be just a click or two away. United has put together an 8-Week Moving Checklist based on decades of experience with every type of move. By breaking the steps involved into manageable “chunks,” you may be surprised at how much more in charge you’ll feel right up to and including your actual move day. If your planned move is less than two months out, you might need to compress the timeline by adding more tasks to each week’s list until you’re caught up. 

Knowing Who’s Moving You Reduces Stress, Too   

Hiring a professional moving company like United Van Lines will certainly relieve you of much of the stress and anxiety associated with moving. They usually offer different levels of services that can help you create a moving strategy that fits your specific needs and budget.  

It’s always a good idea to research moving costs and compare quotes with different companies. When you get a quote, also be sure the movers you’re considering are reputable, transparent about the costs involved and qualified to do the job.  

Reaching Out Will Soothe Your Soul  

Aside from saying the usual “goodbyes” to friends and family members, don’t hesitate to ask for their support, too – anything from help with packing to sitting down and having a heart-to-heart with your trusted BFF.  

If you’re a parent, keep in mind that this can be a particularly emotional time for children as well. Be upbeat and positive about all the exciting new opportunities ahead for them (this will do wonders for your own emotional state as well). Make sure they’re involved, know what’s going on and be there for them throughout the move. experience. Check out our tips for moving with kids

And if you’re still struggling to cope with moving stress, consider reaching out to a professional counselor or therapist, many of whom provide online services that can move right along with you.  

Cutting Yourself Some Slack 

Almost everyone experiences stress at some point in the moving process. The key is managing it without letting your emotions get the best of you. Take a few long walks to say goodbye to your old neighborhood and use the packing process to declutter not only old objects but also unhappy memories. Think about the new life that’s waiting for you down the road — and look forward to the many wonderful experiences you’ll soon enjoy.  

Reading a good book can also be a positive way to temporarily take your mind off all that’s happening. Here’s one that might help you see things in a different light.    

Need professional movers to help with your move? Get a quote from United Van Lines today. 

Will you need help settling in? Check out our other blogs for moving tips and packing advice, as well as city guides and a wealth of other helpful, time-saving information.  

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