The very thought of moving to a new house, new neighborhood, or even a new country is exciting. Moving out of your old home and starting a new life is something that most people happily look forward to especially when they were living in dire circumstances before. But, as much as it sounds exciting, it’s undeniable that moving to a new neighborhood, city, state, or another country can be nerve-wracking. 

In other words, moving to a new location brings a mix of intense emotions, which naturally result in ‘moving stress’. Planning to move is not going to be easy. If you want to move with less stress and settle into your new home with ease, it is best to understand and prepare well for it.

Is the Emotional Stress of Moving Normal?

Why does moving out of your house feel stressful? Moving house should be a fresh start where you can leave all the stressful events of your life behind.

Moving in itself does not create anxiety. What makes moving stressful are the little details that need to be accomplished before the moving day. Here are the details that cause an emotional impact on your move:

  • Changes. Moving house, a new job, a new environment, a new city, and meeting new friends are all part of the big change that comes with moving. Changes create anxiety. It is normal to feel this while moving.
  • Money. There are so many things that are associated with moving. Money is considered the element that causes so much stress on individuals who are planning to move. It is no denying that moving to another house can be costly even if you have a minimalist lifestyle. Whether you have or lack the financial resources to move, moving will surely take its toll on your pocket. 
  • Time. When you are moving house, it feels like your life is on a temporary pause. While on pause, you focus your attention and energy on moving. Enough time is needed to pack your stuff and settle into your new location, whether you are making a local move or transferring to a totally new place.

Symptoms of Moving Stress

Stress becomes detrimental only when it becomes unbearable and uncontrollable for you. Here are some of the emotional symptoms of moving stress:

  • You find it hard to relax, and you avoid people
  • You are easily overwhelmed and triggered
  • You may feel depressed and unproductive

Effects on Mental and Physical Health

Moving also affects mental and physical stress. If a person experiences too much stress, it can be seen in their physical attribute. Here are some of the physical symptoms of moving stress:

  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Can easily get sick
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Aches in different parts of the body

Aside from seeing the physical manifestations of stress, moving stress can also impact a person’s mental health. Excessive stress can affect your normal thinking ability. Here are the other manifestations of moving stress on a person’s mental health:

  • Cannot focus
  • Forgetful and disorganized
  • Negative thinking and cannot make sound decisions
  • Constant worrying

Related article: How do parents deal with an Empty Nest after their children move out?

Mental Health and Relocation Depression

Relocation depression is a sense of overwhelming sadness that could manifest for years because of moving. Each person has their own reaction to moving. Some may become sad, others happy, others may feel sentimental, others may experience decision fatigue.

The stress of moving can affect your mental health. The stress can come from the fear of the unknown. You have become so familiar with where you are from that thinking about moving to a new place can be terrifying.

You also become anxious about planning your move and settling into your new place. You start reminiscing the places you frequent, the friends you hang around with, and your workplace.

How to Cope with Moving Stress

Here are some tips on how you can enjoy your move and be less stressed out:

Have the Right Attitude

You have to tell yourself that the move is necessary and it will do you good. You can look forward to meeting new people, eating new delicacies, and exploring new sights. Having this kind of mindset will help reduce stress and help you get settled faster.

Moving is a phase you have to go through, and long-distance relationships are manageable. Once you have settled down, it’s as if you have never moved at all.

Do Your Research

It would be of great help if you knew more about the new place you are moving into. If you are transferring to a different country, you should research the accessibility of grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, schools, and your workplace.

Being knowledgeable about these things will make you more comfortable about moving. This will also inspire and motivate you to pursue the move and not be too stressed out.

Prepare a Checklist and Have a Time Frame

Multitasking during a big move is not easy, and making a checklist will be a great help. You can write down your goals and break these down into small tasks that you can easily accomplish before the moving day.

Your checklist can include boxes or containers for packing your stuff. The list will include the things you need to bring and the ones that need to be disposed of. You can also write down your financial obligations to finalize your move. The list could also include your travel plans and contingency plans.

You must establish a time frame for your moving day. You have to plan when to start packing and when to make payments. Also, plan when to start moving and settling in. Some things can’t be rushed, especially the things that are beyond your control. Having this in mind, you can surely have an easy-moving experience.


Living in a house for a long time can collect a lot of memories and even junk. Moving is a chance to clean up and declutter your life. This is when you sort out which are important and those that need to be thrown away. Bring only the things that matter to you. You can make new memories in your new place.

Get Help and Say Goodbye

Ask your colleagues or family members to help you out during your move. Spend time with them. This can be a great bonding experience before you move out. Your friends won’t mind helping out. I’m sure that they will be very much delighted. You can buy them meals or drinks as your sign of appreciation for their help.

You can also hire professional movers if you don’t want to be stressed out. Though, hiring professionals can cost you more than just a meal or drink. Goodbyes are only temporary. The memories and friendships built will forever stay in your heart.

How to Handle Moving With Family Members

Moving alone is stressful; but, moving as a family with little children can be more stressful. The most stressful things for children to do are saying goodbye and stepping out of their comfort zone.

Moving With The Children

As a parent, you wouldn’t want to subject your children to stress early in life. On the other hand, if moving is really necessary for the whole family’s benefit, make sure that you prepare your children well before the big move. Also, take extra effort in checking and supporting them during the move and settling in.

Children don’t what to leave their friends and the comfortable life they have established for themselves. Telling them about your plans to move won’t be easy. Be honest with them and reassure them why it is important for the whole family to move. Be prepared for the questions that they might ask. Be prepared for the negative emotions such as anger or disappointment that they could throw at you.

Let your children participate in your plans of moving. This way, they have something to look forward to and will be more open about the idea of moving. You can show them pictures of your new home and new furniture. You can let them choose which rooms they want to stay in.

Lastly, give your children the opportunity to say their farewells to their buddies by letting them have a farewell party.  

New House, New Beginnings

Surely moving to a new area will not be easy, and it comes with a range of emotions. You don’t have to be confused and stressed out. Whatever your reasons are for moving, remember that this change is good for you.

Moving takes a lot of adjustment. You might need to adjust and adapt to a new environment and new culture or language. You make adjustments while familiarizing yourself with your new job and new colleagues.  

Yes, moving can be a handful. So, if you need someone to help you carry the stressful burden on your shoulders, give Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) a call. KCC is here to help you manage your big move and help you adjust smoothly.

Remember, the best part about moving is the journey you take to discover a whole new version of yourself.

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