Moving: Managing the Emotional Stress of a Life Transition

When our environment is unsettled and chaotic, it tends to spill over and impact our wellbeing. Such is the case with moving. Moving can be exciting and can be a positive stress, but it is definitely a stressor and tips our immediate world upside down. To add to the mix, often moving can be associated with major life transitions. Moving in with someone may signify taking a relationship to the next level, moving out may mean the end of a relationship. We may move to a new city or location for a job promotion or opportunity or we may move out of our adult home to downsize as we go into our golden years. Moving can be about so much more than just physically relocating.

Whatever your reasons for calling a new place home, here are a few things to think about to try and make the transition as easy as it can be.

1. If you know a move is in your somewhat immediate future, start purging early. Go through clothes, kitchen gadgets and the dreaded junk drawer/closet/room. The less you have to move, the better.

2. Do a little bit at a time. Chip away at packing if possible, give yourself time to work room by room and do a little bit of reminiscing.

3. Take the time to share stories. If you live with others, share favourite and standout memories that happened in that home. If you live solo, try journaling some of those memories. Memories are separate of the space they happened, but there can be a strong emotional tie to the location.

4. Talk about the new adventures to come. Learn about your new community and all it has to offer, start planning ways to get involved or events to take part in. Chat about what you want this next phase of life to look like. Talking about the uncertainty of a move can help give you a game plan and make it feel not quite as stressful.

5. Take your time getting settled into your new space. Often it can be a mad dash to get everything unpacked and feel settled. Once you get the essentials set up, take some time with the rest of the house. It takes a little while to figure out the flow and where to put things so you can maximize their use. Have some patience to really create the space you want and start this next chapter of your life.

Danielle

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