Is Moving a Major Cause of Stress? Here’s Why You Feel Anxious About Moving


How people feel about moving will depend on several factors. Say, for instance, it’s a matter of escaping a war zone, then moving is apparently a cause of pure joy, safety, and peace of mind. But when it’s divorce-related, one may feel angst; moving may come with a heavy heart.

Some people relocate to a new home to embark on a new job, visit family more frequently, upgrade to a more spacious house, or be nearer to schools. On the contrary, others want to reduce the cost of running a house and downsize their home, especially the empty nesters.

Moving Can Be a Hassle but Not a Dramatic Life Event

While some claim moving is a significant cause of stress and even list it next to the death of their spouse, BBC has found out it’s a misconception. Moving is indeed stressful, but it doesn’t fall under the top causes of major stress. It does, though, fall under the category of everyday life hassles.

The most popular rating was the Social Readjustment Rating Scale developed by psychiatrists Richard Rahe and Thomas Holmes in 1967. It asked people to weigh forty-three kinds of events and rate each for up to a hundred percent.

Basing on this scale, death of spouse comes first, divorce second, and marital separation third. Nowhere in the top ten or twenty is moving included on the list; just having a huge mortgage to pay, numbered 20, the nearest to the top lists.

However, in the list of daily hassles, moving is included under “property, investment, and taxes,” which is eighth in the list. Even in this list, moving still doesn’t get to the top among other hassles.

The Hassle of Moving and Fear of Change

But this doesn’t mean moving is less of a stressful event. It has its own impact on people. Hassles of moving are one part of it. Levels of stress and anxiety vary from person to person. Excitement might also come in, but so would feelings of uncertainty. Change can still be daunting, even if it’s done for the good.

This is one cause of stress and anxiety among those who move aside from it being hassling. Humans are naturally territorial, thriving better in routines. Change triggers a sense of uncertainty and demands huge adjustments.

So if you feel a mix of emotions when moving, allow yourself to be. After all, it’s not easy to just turn your back on the connections and memories you’ve had from your previous residence.

You have to face the possibility that you’ll not just be changing your location but have to develop new friendships in the neighborhood as well—which can turn out into so-so or lasting friendships. Even so, you still can’t guarantee if everything will fall into their place.

Steps to Reduce Moving Stress and Anxiety

The key to a less stressful move is adequate preparation and still taking care of yourself despite all you have to think about and do. Here are some tips to make the moving process easier for you:

1. Make a checklist

With so many things in mind, it’s easy to forget things or feel overwhelmed. To reduce your worries, jot your to-dos to break them into smaller tasks before you book a home relocation service. This way, you make them more manageable and realistic.

Include in your checklist collecting enough boxes for your items, decluttering, making payments for your new home, planning a route toward your new location, and packing in advance. To make the tasks easier, get your family members involved.

2. Get used to the new area

It will be easier to feel settled in your new place when you are more proactive and outgoing. It’s time to do your research. Learn where the most proximate grocery stores, pharmacies, or restaurants are. If you have kids, then find out if they have a local playgroup.

And before you move in, familiarize the place first, especially if you feel intimidated about living in new surroundings. For instance, you can drive around the place to get the feel, dine in at least one of the local cafes, or even buy groceries in the area.

3. Prepare early

Never do last-minute packing. Put in the time to declutter each day several weeks or months before the day you move. If you put decluttering, packing, and cleaning off until you get near to the day of moving, you’ll only feel rising stress as days go by.

A week of packing before the day you move will do. Don’t hesitate to seek help from your family, friends, or even professionals, everything you can do to make your moving easier.

The Adjustment Period

After settling in all your items, adjusting comes next. Involve yourself and your family in the community and let your neighbors ease down the anxiety. Take note that successfully adjusting doesn’t take overnight; it will even take up to six months at best.

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