Coping With Moving Stress and Anxiety
Moving - some people argue that it's the most stressful thing that anyone can do. While that is probably pretty close to the truth, there are lots of ways to reduce the stress and anxiety of moving so you can actually enjoy the moment, look forward to the change and know that this move is a positive and rewarding experience. In the following tips we've included some of the best advice that we've found to reduce the stress and anxiety of moving house.
Time is something that is well and truly beyond our control. It is sometimes the case that a move sneaks up on us and we are forced to race the clock in order to get everything organised. If you are able to plan in advance, try to allocate yourself at least eight weeks to reduce the stress and anxiety of a last minute rush. We strongly recommend twelve weeks if possible, particularly if you need to employ furniture removalists and/or if you're planning to move in the busiest time of the year, that is, over the summer months. But if necessary, everything can be done without too much stress within eight weeks.
Getting Yourself Organised
Make a list of all the things that you need to do, then divide them up and allocate them to the weeks leading up to your removal, allowing yourself enough days to accomplish everything on that week's list. If you're uncertain where to start, check out an eight-week plan that will ensure you don’t fall behind schedule.
Cut the Clutter!
We recommend you sort out this one before anything else. Clearing your home of all the unnecessary extras will help you be, and feel, more organized. It will also mean that when you start packing, you'll only be packing the items that you need to. There’s no point packing items that will just be thrown out once you have moved, it can be frustrating and time consuming.
Eliminating cluttering also helps you relieve yourself of some of the old things that might have been holding you back. The process of deleting old belongings from your possession will assist you in transitioning from one stage of your life to the next, leaving the past in the past and looking forward to the future. This process will also help you feel excited about the upcoming change, rather than focusing on the stress of it all.
Ask for a Helping Hand
Most people find little pleasure in calling for assistance with their move if they are finding it too difficult to coordinate everything on their own. Your loved ones have probably moved at least once in their life and can understand how trying this stressful time can be. Ask friends and family if they can come over for a few hours and help you pack your belongings. If the location you’re moving to is far away, this could be one of the last chances you have to spend time together for a while.
Saying Your Farewells
Parting from a place that you’ve come to call home can be a stressful and emotional experience. Don’t ignore the feelings of loss, sadness and anxiety that sometimes accompany the other feelings associated with moving. We therefore recommend that you allow yourself time to say goodbye. Throw a farewell party, or invite friends out for dinner. Take an hour to walk through your neighbourhood and visit your favourite places. Consolidate the memories and allow yourself to relive them again and feel the emotions they elicit. This will also help with the move from the old to the new and give yourself some much needed time to enjoy the area that you may have spent many years of your life in, making memories and meeting loved ones.
Plan Some R&R
Due to the strenuous nature of moving house it is easy to put ourselves out by forgetting to get enough sleep, or eat right, or even at all. We know that it is all too easy to spend long days packing boxes and cleaning the house and to forget entirely to take care of yourself which can often result in more stress both emotionally and physically. While it may seem like you're being efficient with your time, by making personal sacrifices for the sake of the move, you're also neglecting the most important thing that is moving: yourself!
Put yourself first and make sure that you take care of yourself. This can be accomplished by allocating some time to your task list for some chill out time, such as allowing yourself treats like having dinner out with friends and family, visiting your favourite coffee shop or book shop or seeing a movie. It doesn't need to be a huge extravagant event, (we know how costly moving can be!), just something small that ensures you're taking time out from the hectic moving process to balance yourself, stop, breathe and release the anxiety.
If you have children, treat them to special outings as well. Plan an evening out to visit their favourite ice cream shop or restaurant or playground. Kids require special handling during a move; they notice a lot more than we think they do and will know when their Mum and Dad are stressed out. They'll need time from you, perhaps more so than usual– the adjustments and changes can be daunting and require patience, understanding and attention This may be difficult to give if you are putting all your energy into the moving process and not enough into the people behind it all!
Don’t Worry if Your Plans Fall Through
Despite your best efforts in organising and preparing everything to the best of your ability, things still go wrong. Unforeseeable obstacles and events will happen, so you need to be flexible and allow yourself some extra breathing room to deal with these problems. Don’t stress about extraneous variables that are beyond your control, it will only upset you and a solution is more difficult to come across when you are anxious and stressed out. Maybe return to your task list and timeline and work in some extra days if you can to accommodate for such events. Allowing for some extra time means that in the case that things do go wrong; you have some room to breathe and work through the issue. And if everything goes smoothly then these days can be used to treat yourself!
A full back-up plan may not be necessary, but having a list of options in case some things don’t fall into place as you have planned will avoid panic and fretting setting in. We recommend a few days on either end of your move out/move in day (especially when moving interstate) should your cleaners not show up, or if there are problems with the real estate agencies that you are operating through. This can happen even though it's rare so account for such events by devising some alternatives just in case.
Prepare to Feel Out of Sorts
You're going to be living in disarray for some time once you have settled into the new house, boxes will be everywhere and things will feel out of control. It's not unusual to experience feelings of anger or frustration over little things, like being upset when you can't find the bed sheets, or saucepans; just remember to keep on track by continually referring to your timing list so hat you know that you are on track for your move and have achieved a great deal already in reaching this point of organisation. Once you reach this point your on the home stretch, and even though there’s still some things left to do, you need to remember that you have succeeded in reaching the point you are currently at.
Remember that it might take some time for your new house to feel like home – it will be unfamiliar and confusing for a while which is to be expected. As you unpack, and as the next chapter of your life unfolds you will find that it’s only a matter of time before things start feeling normal again, as the old saying goes “Love makes a house, a home”.