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 moving sounds exciting, it’s undeniable that moving to a new neighborhood, city, state, or another country can be nerve-wracking. This is called the emotional stress of moving.

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 necessarily create anxiety. Below are some factors that can cause moving out emotionally stressful:

1. Changes

Moving to a new house and city, having a new job and environment, and meeting new friends are all part of the big change that comes with moving. Changes often create anxiety. It’s normal to feel this while moving.

2. Money

There are so many things that are associated with moving. Money is considered one of the biggest causes of stress in individuals who are planning to move. There’s 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. 

3. 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, which can cause stress. Enough time is needed to pack your stuff and settle into your new location, whether you’re 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. You have moving stress if you:

  • Find it hard to relax
  • Want to avoid people
  • Are easily overwhelmed and triggered
  • Feel depressed and unproductive

Effects on Mental and Physical Health

Moving also causes mental and physical stress. Too much stress can have physical manifestations. Here are some of the physical symptoms of moving stress:

  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Poor immunity
  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Aches in different parts of the body

Aside from the negative physical manifestations of stress, moving stress can also impact a person’s mental health. Excessive stress can disrupt your normal thinking ability. Below are signs that moving stress has taken a toll on your mental health:

  • Poor focus
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of organization
  • Negative thinking
  • Inability to make sound decisions
  • Constant worrying

Related article: How Do Parents Deal with an Empty Nest after Their Children Move Out?

Emotional Stress of Moving 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, happy, or sentimental. Others may experience decision fatigue.

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 about the places you frequent, the friends you hang around with, and workplace experiences that you find positive or memorable.

How to Cope with the Emotional Sress of Moving

Moving need not be unnerving. Follow these tips to enjoy your move and be less stressed out:

1. Have the Right Attitude

You have to tell yourself that the move is necessary and 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.

Remind yourself that your old relationships don’t have to end just because you’re moving. Long-distance relationships are more manageable these days, thanks to apps that allow you to e-mail, text, chat with, or video-call your old friends, colleagues, and neighbors.

2. Do Your Research

It would be of great help if you knew more about the new place you are moving to. If you are relocating 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 about it.

3. Prepare a Checklist and Have a Time Frame

Multitasking before a big move is not easy, so 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.

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

You must establish a time frame for your moving day. Plan when to start packing and when to make payments. Also, decide when to start moving and settling in.

Some things can’t be rushed, especially the things that are beyond your control. You will have an easy and pleasant moving experience if you keep this in mind.

4. Declutter

Living in a house for a long time can result in a large collection of memories and even junk. Moving is a chance to clean up and declutter your life. This is when you sort out which is important and what needs to be thrown away.

Bring only the things that matter to you. You can make new memories in your new place, which means needing enough space for new mementos and keepsakes. You won’t have the space for them if you bring a lot of your old stuff with you.

5. Get Help and Say Goodbye

Ask your colleagues or family members to help you out during your move. Spend time with them, as this can be a great bonding experience before you move out. Your friends won’t mind helping out. You can buy them meals or drinks as a sign of appreciation for their help.

You can also hire professional movers if you don’t want to be stressed out. Hiring professionals can cost you more than just a meal or drink, though.

Goodbyes are only temporary. The memories and friendships built will forever stay in your heart.

How to Handle Emotional Stress of Moving if With Family Members

Moving all by yourself is stressful, but moving as a family with little children can be more stressful. The most stressful things for children are saying goodbye and stepping out of their comfort zone, and seeing your children get stressed can further compound the stress you’re already feeling.

Moving with the Children

As a parent, you wouldn’t want to subject your children to stress early in life. But if moving is really necessary for the whole family’s benefit, make sure 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. Also, be prepared for the questions your kids might ask and 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 also let them choose which rooms they want to stay in.

Lastly, give your children the opportunity to say goodbye to their buddies by letting them have a farewell party. They will appreciate you and make the move less painful for them if you do this.

New House, New Beginnings

Surely, moving to a new area will not be easy, as it comes with a range of emotions you have to deal with. 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 culture or learn a new language. This is why seeking professional help to cope with moving stress can be helpful. Kentucky Counseling Center’s (KCC) mental and emotional health experts can help you manage your big move and adjust to your new place smoothly. Call or e-mail us to book an appointment with one of our well-trained professionals.

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