7 Ways to Manage the Stress of Moving
If you’re feeling stressed these days, you’re not alone. The 2020s haven’t been kind to us, and most of us juggle too many things on any given day. There’s work, family commitments, taking care of yourself, and other responsibilities. Throw moving into the mix, and you’ve got yourself quite a recipe for stress.
Moving houses means you suddenly have a lot more on your plate. No matter how long your to-do list gets, though, it’s important to take care of yourself during the process. Read on to find some of our most tried and true ways to manage the stress of moving.
Two Ways of Thinking About Stress
When it comes to moving, there are a couple of ways to think about stress.
One is how we manage stress, using tools that help us stay calm and feel better. Things like meditation, exercise, and getting enough sleep are all effective in combating stress.
The other is how to reduce stress by addressing the source of it. In the case of moving, a lot of stress comes from having too much to do and not having enough time to do it all.
Both reducing and managing the stress of moving need to be done to keep our health top-of-mind during the moving process. However, it isn't always easy.
Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies. We think we have to do everything ourselves, even when it’s not possible to get it all done. We may even think it’s noble or admirable to go it alone.
Let’s call foul on that line of thinking and talk about our first suggestion.
Hire a Moving Company
We’re not going to dance around it. Our number one suggestion to reduce the stress of moving is to hire movers.
A long hot bath can help you relax, but it doesn’t lessen your workload. Lessening your workload is exactly what you need if you’re moving.
If there’s ever been a good time to call in the reinforcements, it’s when you’re moving. There are many ways professional movers can help reduce the stress of moving.
Professional Movers Help with Physical Tasks…
When you hire a moving company, you can often choose from a range of services. Here are some of the physical tasks that movers can do for you:
- Load and unload boxes. Movers accomplish more in a few hours than you would in a few days or longer. Even if you hire them for only this, movers will save you tons of time.
- Wrap and move large furniture. Moving large items is always going to be a challenge. Professional movers will find the best and safest way to maneuver these pieces during your move. They’re much better than your average person at protecting your belongings and your home during the move.
- Box and pack belongings. Some moving companies offer packing as an add on service. You can have movers help with packing one or all of your rooms, depending on your budget. Again, when the pros do it, it all takes a lot less time. Movers usually provide all the boxes and packing materials, so that’s one less errand to run.
…And Give You Peace of Mind
Have you heard of the term mental load? It’s like a cognitive backpack where we keep all the things we need to keep track of—appointments, birthdays, projects, bills, etc.
Professional movers, especially ones that designate a move coordinator, relieve some of the mental load of moving for you.
Movers can lay out a moving schedule for you, so you get an idea of what needs to happen when. Move coordinators will alert you to upcoming deadlines. They’ll make sure you have scheduled any additional services you may need, such as getting your car shipped or your clothes dryer unhooked.
You Still Need to Manage Stress
Even if you hire pro movers, moving is still stressful. Prioritize finding ways to manage the stress of moving, both for your own sake and for those that count on you.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s hard to emphasize this point enough. Lack of sleep will put you at risk for a whole host of problems. It can impair your judgment, make you irritable, and decrease your focus. It can even make you more prone to accidents.
The good news is that all the techniques we discuss below can help ensure you get those all-important zzzz’s.
Take a Deep Breath
Anything that gets you to slow down and focus on your breath is going to help you stay calm. Yoga, meditation, and listening to nature sounds are all proven techniques for managing stress. You can do some of these right at home.
On YouTube, Yoga with Adriene had hundreds of guided yoga sessions for just about any kind of stress you need to manage. Adriene has sessions for different areas of the body and different moods. She also has them sorted by length of session, which is helpful when you’re on a tight schedule.
Another YouTube channel, YoQi Yoga and Qigong combines yoga and qigong. Depending on the particular video you choose, you can do yoqi to combat an afternoon slump or to help you fall asleep.
Another calming technique is tapping, otherwise known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT is often used in mental health counseling to release old emotions. There’s an app called The Tapping Solution that walks you through exactly how to do it. It’s similar to guided meditation and is very relaxing.
When we say get social, we don’t mean spend another hour scrolling social media. It doesn’t give you the real connection we mean. Social media can even lead to anxiety and mental health issues.
Humans are social creatures and we need our support system to feel whole. We’re talking real, live interactions with real, live people.
Take some time, even a short while, to connect with the people who are important to you. Grab a cup of coffee or take a walk. If you absolutely can’t make in-person work, make a call. Sit for 10 minutes (without doing chores) and talk. Connecting with your people can be a great way to manage the stress of moving.
Keep Up with Exercise
Exercise is the holy grail of health. Seriously. Even a little bit can give you huge rewards. A few short walks each week can:
Build muscle strength
Improve cardiovascular health
Improve your mood
Result in better sleep
Double up on the benefits of exercise and walk with a friend.
Do Something Fun
Most moves take at least a couple of months to plan and carry out. Don’t let all that time be work, work, work. You’ve got to break loose every so often. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself dull company.
Go to a park and people watch. Ride the subway and make an extra stop to explore a new neighborhood. Play charades or board games at home.
The point is, don’t wait too long to inject some joy into your days.
Take a Break
When you’re too wiped out to do one more thing—don’t. Don’t add anything else to your list. Allow yourself some time to do nothing and drop that guilt like a hot potato.
Take a nap. Read a book. Binge-watch a favorite show. Cozy up with a blanket and an old movie. Taking a break is a form of self-care. It’s a good tool to use to manage the stress of moving when you need it.
Want to feel less stressed about your move? Contact us to see all the ways we can make your move easier.