You have found your perfect home, with a lush garden, a great neighbourhood and close to schools and work. Logically this in itself would be a great mood lifter. Once you have finally found the house that will become your home, it can bring feelings of excitement and anticipation. But as the move gets closer you may start feeling more anxious and stressed.
Research carried out by the energy company E.on, with 2000 adults who had moved in the previous three years, records that six in ten people (62%) voted moving home as the most stressful life event, beating marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. Another study by Yopa found that 65% of its 2000 participants lost sleep during their move, and 40% said it made them feel stressed and ill.
So how does moving home really affect our mental health?
Stress is the main cause of many physical symptoms that can accompany a house move. You may start to notice things like:
- Brain fog
- Constant worry and anxiety
One of the main reasons for these symptoms is that coping with change can make us feel unsettled and anxious. We are creatures of habit and tend to like familiarity and routine. Moving can also mean a lot of work, like finding new schools, working out a commute and finding new doctors and dentists. This along with the uncertainty can trigger anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions.
How to reduce stress when moving house
So knowing the effect on your mental health from moving house, what can you do to manage your stress?
- Write it down
If you find yourself running through things in your head while you really should be sleeping, or are feeling a bit overwhelmed, then getting into the habit of writing things down can really help. Moving things out of your head and onto paper can give you some peace and also help you organise.
- Get it organised
Have a checklist of different parts of your move, and a time frame for each item on the list. This will help you prioritise and give you some control over the situation. Share this list with friends and family who are around to help, that way they can take some of the tasks off your hands.
- Pack an essentials bag and a comfort box
It’s a good idea to have an essentials bag packed for a few weeks before the move so you don’t lose the important things. Keeping your documents, medication, keys, and wallet in a place where you know they are can keep you from panicking. It is also a good idea to make a comfort box of things that will help you to feel right at home when you arrive there. Things like candles, blankets, your favourite book, and a few of your kids best toys will give you all a comforted feeling.
- Take a break outside
It can be easy to get caught up in all the activity of moving and not leave the house for days on end. This isn’t great for your mental or physical health. So make sure you book time to go out into the fresh air and move your body. Take some deep breaths and try to be present in your surroundings.
- Ask for help
We all need a little help from our friends at some point, especially in stressful times. Share your plans with family and friends, and don’t be afraid to ask for support if you need it. Hiring a moving company can also alleviate a lot of the worry. At Headington Carriers, we are here to help your move be as stress-free as possible. We can help with moving your belongings, and also offer a packing service.
Anxiety after moving house
Feeling unsettled after moving house actually has a name – Relocation depression. It can leave you feeling low, anxious and unsettled. If you feel this way after a move don’t worry you are not the only one. Here are a few things that could help:
- Don’t rush yourself
It takes time to settle into a new area and new home. Try not to have too high expectations of yourself, but check in with how you are feeling day-to-day. Remember you have time, and there is no rush to feel the same as you did in your last home.
- Keep in touch with friends and family
It can be easy to isolate yourself when you feel low or are tired. Reaching out to friends and family when you feel rough can keep the feelings of isolation at bay. If you are not moving too far, make plans to see them after your move. You will have the opportunity to show off your new home and also get the connection your need.
- Invest in hobbies
Create time and space to do the things that bring you joy. Whether this is painting, running or knitting, getting involved in these activities will give you a grounded feeling. Hobbies are also great ways of getting to know people in your new area. So look up classes locally and see if you can join and make some new friends.
How to make a house a home
One way to relieve feelings of anxiety and depression is to make your new house feel like home quickly.
- Unpack as soon as you can
Having your possessions around you can help you feel at home, so don’t wait to get those boxes open and unpacked. It also doesn’t help your general well-being to have boxes around, so try to clear them as soon as you can.
- Put up pictures and art
Art and photos are proven to bring you joy and can remind you of good times and the people you love. If you are moving to a rented property, command strips are a great way to get things on your wall without having to hammer nails in.
- Keep it clean
Keeping your new space clean can really have an effect on your mood, giving you mental and physical space to look after yourself.
While these tips and tricks can go a long way to relieve the stress and anxiety that comes with moving, if you are struggling and would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling then please contact someone at Mind.
Or if you would like some help and support through your move then please get in touch with us at Headington Carriers today: +44 (0)1993 811 276 or (0)1865 311 000 / firstname.lastname@example.org