Moving can be a thrilling adventure, whether you need to relocate for work, move house for private reasons, or even if you’re just bored of your environment and would like a change in life. If we’re being honest, though, the adventure often comes with a side of anxiety and stress.
The uncertainty of the change can take a toll on your mental health – not to mention all the logistics you need to juggle. That’s why we compiled some tried and true strategies to help you cope with the stress of moving.
Ask for support
First of all, remember that you don’t have to navigate this alone. On top of the practical challenges, moving can be emotionally challenging as well. If things start to feel too draining, overwhelming, irritating, etc. don’t hesitate to lean on your support network. Talking to friends and family about your bottlenecks.
They can lend you a listening ear, offer you some good advice, or you can outright recruit them to help with all the work. Just be fair and compensate them somehow: with food, gas money, a service in exchange, or whatever else you’re both comfortable with.
Plan ahead and stay organized
Careful planning is one of the easiest ways to keep your nerves from running off on you. Sure, it’s tedious and takes a lot of time, but it really saves you a ton of headache in the long run. One easy tactic is using checklists. They go a long way in turning the stressful environment into a calm one and helping you keep your peace. List all the tasks you need to accomplish before, during, and after the move.
Make a list of the items you need to pack, throw away, sell, or donate. List the different aspects of the move, such as packing, hiring movers, and setting up utilities, and then allocate them to specific days. That way you have maximum control over the whole process, less chance of feeling overwhelmed, and therefore far less stress and anxiety.
Choose the right place
Take your time when you’re choosing where to settle. Line up a few options and then draw up a list of pros and cons for each. Compare countries, states, counties, areas, neighborhoods, and individual apartments for rent or houses for purchase (of course, depending on the scale of your move). Your new home should suit your needs and preferences as much as possible, ideally more so than the one you’re moving out of.
Feeling comfortable in your new space goes a long way in reducing stress. That comfort level will depend on different factors, such as location, amenities, costs, aesthetics, luxuries, and the overall “vibe” of the place, so include all those in your comparison list.
Make your new home an oasis
Bust the post-move nerves with some rearranging and redecorating. Make your new place as peaceful as possible so that you’ll quickly build positive associations with it and be happy to come back at the end of each day. Once you’ve moved in and unpacked the necessities, consider what might help turn your home into a stress-free personal sanctuary.
Choose soothing colors for your furniture, wall paint, and accessories like curtains and carpets. If you have a green thumb, add indoor plants. Set up a cozy corner for your favorite form of relaxation, be it a meditation area, a reading nook, or a hobby station. You might also consider incorporating some ambiance elements that are specifically meant for stress-reduction, like aromatherapy or soft music.
Explore your new environment
Finally, we advise you to take at least a day to walk or drive around the prospective new neighborhood. Transitioning to a new place is far less intimidating when you explore your new surroundings in advance. Locate all the essential amenities like grocery stores, pharmacies, medical facilities, and educational institutions (if you’re moving with kids).
Familiarize yourself with public transportation: the available modes, routes, waiting stops, and ticket plans. If you’ll be using your own transportation, find out the gas prices in the area, see where it’s safe to park your bike, etc. Pay attention to how the locals behave with each other and note if they’ll be friendly to you, the stranger looking around.
If you can, explore once by day and once by night: areas tend to be very different on weekdays, weekends, evenings, during working times vs. lunch hours and breaks, etc. The more you can mitigate “the big unknown”, the less reason you’ll have to be nervous in the first place.
In conclusion, moving to a new place is definitely a big change, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can minimize the task-related anxiety by staying organized and asking for support when you need it. If you get jitters from the unknown factors, go on a little adventure exploring your new area. Most importantly, take your time in choosing the right kind of home and tailoring its functions and decor to your tastes, to make a cozy and serene nest for your new life.