5 Ways to Maintain Good Mental Health During a Move

Some people sail right through the moving experience; others find themselves feeling anxious or overwhelmed. That said, the moving process tends to be more worry-free when you feel well-prepared and in charge of the situation.  

A successful move, especially a DIY move, takes a bit of planning upfront, as well as an awareness not only about how you deal with major life changes but also how these changes affect those around you. We’d like to share a few basic tips for making your move a manageable, positive and low-stress experience for everyone involved. 

Trim Down the Variables 

Even the best laid plans can go off course. But one of the easiest ways to minimize stress is to manage the moving process in such a way as to limit potential glitches or unwelcome surprises as much as possible. Let’s start with the basics. 

Have you set a move date? While most long-distance moves happen during the peak summer months, moves outside of the busy season are often easier to schedule. Depending on the date, a cooler weather move might also be easier on your emotions — and body — than one planned for mid-July. 

Should you hire a professional mover or do it yourself? Each option has its own advantages and downsides, mostly around how much you’re moving, scheduling availability and what you can afford. Take a deep breath and weigh the pros, cons and costs. Then, make the decision to either hire moving professionals or put together your own “crew” to help on the big day. 

Moving for a new job? If at all possible, build in some time to settle into your new home before your first day at work — whether it’s in the office or remote. Even if it’s just a few extra days, you’ll feel less distracted and more comfortable not trying to adjust to two major life events at exactly the same time. This extra “wiggle room” could also come in handy if your move date happens to shift. 

Plan on driving to your new home? Check to see if your car could use a new set of tires or a tune-up. Get this taken care of sooner rather than later and you’ve tackled one more variable. Your car will thank you, too. Not sure how to pack your car — and what to keep with you? We can help with that

Take the Process One Step at a Time 

Even a relatively simple move can seem overwhelming if you look at it in its entirety. At Mayflower, we call it a “moving process” for a reason: it’s a series of small steps designed to move you toward a bigger goal.  

Our Moving Checklist contains a wealth of information on everything from planning a successful stoop or garage sale to getting pets ready, de-cluttering your house, switching off and turning on utilities and packing up your belongings. Once you understand how a move can be broken down into a manageable sequence of events, you’ll breathe easier. 

Don’t Bottle Up Your Emotions 

Whatever the reason for your move, it’s okay to have mixed feelings. In fact, maintaining a stoic demeanor can sometimes be more mentally exhausting than simply sharing where your emotions are at. Keep in mind that others around you  — such as a partner or children — are also impacted by the move. Offering them calming support may help put things into perspective for you as well.  

Many people find journaling to be a great way to express their inner feelings. Chances are, you’ll look back at what you’ve written a year or so later and smile about how well things turned out. 

Anxious about moving to an unfamiliar place and meeting new people? That’s perfectly understandable — and also why we recommend looking at our tips and tricks for settling into your new neighborhood

Think About All the Positives  

There could be more space to spread out in. Less space to take care of. A better school system or an empty nest retreat. Even helping a loved one or taking a step up the corporate ladder. Though circumstances vary, a move always means new experiences, new connections and the opportunity to embark on a whole new chapter in your life. 

Forming new friendships and learning about the local go-tos and hot spots can be a great adventure. Decorating a new space can be fun and invigorating. Finding a new sport or hobby to pursue can improve your health and lift your spirits. Open yourself up to the possibilities and you may feel at home sooner than you think.  

If You See a Loved One Struggling, Reach Out 

People deal with change in different ways. If someone you care about appears to be having trouble coping with the complex realities of a move— or any other life circumstance for that matter — let them know you’re there for them. If they need additional support beyond what you’re able to provide, MentalHealth.gov offers resources that can help you prepare for your new beginning and close the chapter on what you’re leaving behind.