Moving is always a source of stress: for some people it can even create an overwhelming sense of anxiety. According to a study, moving is the third main source of anxiety in the life of most people, right after grief and being let go by a company. It’s a tsunami in somebody’s life: leaving your current stable and comfortable routine to start over in another location is never easy. In this article, you will learn why moving can be so stressful and how to relax and enjoy the journey.
Why is moving so stressful?
What is your perception of a move?
Moving can be perceived as positive or negative depending on the reason for the relocation. If you are moving because of a negative event (eg: financial loss, divorce or separation, termination from work), the move itself can feel like you are “failing” and can even lead to depression in some rare cases. We can help you go through this event with a certain peace of mind. Moving is indeed the end of an era in your life, but we always need to stop somewhere to flourish somewhere else.
Even if the move is leading you to something positive (eg: moving out of your parent’s home, moving in with a partner, starting a dream job) some stress can remain.
Did you just sign a brilliant contract to move to the city you’ve always dreamed of, but are still feeling emotional while packing your boxes ? If yes, do not worry, it’s totally normal.
So why do we react this way?
Moving is a radical change in your life. Some psychologists compare it to a separation from a partner. You are saying goodbye to your old life, your habits, your social circle to start over somewhere else. Human beings by nature need to feel secure and are nourished by social ties. It is therefore quite natural to be anxious at the idea of uprooting oneself.
How can you reduce this stress?
Whether you are leaving for an exciting project or if it follows an unpleasant event, try to understand why you feel stressed at the first signs of stress showing up.
Are you removing the magnets from your fridge and are hesitating to throw away the one given to you by your best friend Mary? Moving is also a great occasion to sort through your memorabilia and personal belongings.
Most of us are materialistic and have a hard time letting go of our memories. Sometimes, it’s as if parting with our old objects takes us away from our loved ones.
If you feel this way, take a step back: parting with certain items does not erase the great memories you have made with your best friends!
Throwing away items you no longer need also makes space for new memories. Being a bit of a minimalist usually helps us to feel lighter. Stop dwelling on the past and focus on your future projects. And if you still feel down you can call your loved ones and check in with them. Don’t isolate yourself.
Be active not passive!
Put your situation into words: if you have children, explain the situation to them, emphasizing the positive aspects. After all, this is also a chance for them to make new friends at their new school for example. Talking to your loved ones will help you come to terms with your decision.
Try to relax: don’t hesitate to start a yoga session, take a walk in the forest or go for a run. Get rid of the stress the natural way.
Project yourself: the anxiety you feel is mostly related to the fear of the unknown. Take a trip to your new location and learn to know the area. You could take a walk through your future neighborhood and discover the best spots. Who knows, maybe there’s a special restaurant that you would like to try, or a street market taking place on the weekends? This process will help you feel at home. If you do explore, don’t forget to take your pets with you: your dogs and cats also need to become familiar with their new territory.
Flood your mind with positive thoughts
Moving to a new place comes with a lot of doubts. That is totally normal, you are leaving a place that is not only filled with negative memories, but also excellent ones. It is somehow similar to parting with an ex-partner, whether at work or in love: yes they had a lot of amazing qualities but you are parting for good reasons. Believe in yourself!
So here we go, did you just settle in your new home? To avoid isolating yourself because your new environment is a bit intimidating, we advise you to say yes to every new opportunity that comes your way: did your neighbour ask you to come for an impromptu “welcome to the area drink party”? Say yes! Are there salsa lessons right next door and you’ve always dreamed of dancing after work? Say yes! Someone you know can offer you guitar lessons for free and they happen to live close by? You know what to say!
Be confident and positivity will invite itself into your life.