How to Stay Sane During the Move

Did you know that moving is listed as one of the top stressors a person can experience in a lifetime – right along with divorce, loss of a job, or loss of a loved one?

While this might be true, I am here to tell you that there are several things you can do to combat the overwhelming stressors associated with your move – specifically the stressors that can take a toll on your health.

Moving can take a lot out of you, both physically and mentally. When there is a lot to get done, it is easy to put sleep on the back burner. The moving process can make us anxious or excited, so sleeping may become difficult because our sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” response) will kick into overdrive. A lack of sleep will cause you to run on empty and ultimately will lead to being less productive.

Here are some things you can do to prepare for a good night’s sleep:

Avoid electronics: Bright light emitted by electronic devices can signal the body that it should be awake and alert.
Make the room dark, cool and peaceful.
Do meditation / breathing exercises.
Avoid foods and drinks with caffeine.
Make sleep a priority during and after your move. If possible, your bed should be the first thing to be set up in your new home. Sleep will give you a chance to properly refresh and recharge. You will find that you will be more efficient and a whole lot less stressed. Now, go get some rest – right after you finish reading the article!

Maybe it’s the convenience or the overall stress, but moving seems to give us an excuse to eat poorly. Most new movers fall into this trap, but this does not have to be you! Focusing on a healthy diet will not only provide you with the necessary nutrients needed, but it will also keep you energized and improve immune function. Take the time to meal prep for the week ahead (the greener, the better!). This will help avoid having to eat fast food and reduce your stress through the week.

If you are moving from a different city, you’ll have to figure out new places to eat, shop, and just hang out. (Don’t worry, BeLocal’s got you covered!) At the same time, having to find new places doesn’t mean you can’t make a point to maintain some consistency in your daily life. For example, if you always end your night with a warm cup of tea and a book, make sure to have those items on hand during your move. As a new mover, make sure you are prioritizing your day. Use a planner, and fill it with a to-do list that also sets time aside for you to go to the gym, attend a book club, or spend time with your family. Taking control of your daily schedule early and keeping up with some of your most important routines will go a long way towards helping you cope with the move and keep your mental stress in check.

Life can be stressful, and moving is no exception. The average person in the U.S. moves residences more than 11 times in his or her lifetime. So, no matter if this is your first time or your 11th time moving, these are some things to be mindful of as you begin this new journey. Accept the experience for what it is, and make sure you’re taking care of yourself during the process.