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How to Deal with Anxiety After a Move
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|The process of relocation is an incredibly stressful venture-- researching moving companies, comparing quotes, packing and the various other tasks you will have to complete can leave you overcome with anxiety by the time you arrive at your new home. Unfortunately, the stress doesn't end there--after you move in, there are a host of new worries waiting to wreak havoc on your emotional stability and well-being. This guide will list some common causes of move-in apprehension and provide you with some tips to avoid becoming overcome with anxiety after a move.
Disorganization before you've unpacked
When you first move into your new home, your entire life will be packed away in boxes. After the many taxing chores you've juggled during the process of your move, the last thing you will feel like doing is unpacking and sorting through all of your belongings. You may procrastinate unpacking, especially if you have a job and other daily responsibilities to tend to. This can make your first weeks or even months after you have moved in a bit chaotic and disorganized. You may get frustrated if you can't find something you need, such as a CD you want to listen to or a dress you'd like to wear. Not being able to locate your own things when you want them can be extremely stressful and agitating. Try to stay calm and set aside as much time as you can each day to unpack your boxes. This way you can get everything where it belongs as quickly as possible, and keep your transitioning period brief.
If you have moved far away from your hometown, you may find yourself immersed in unfamiliarity. You may feel isolated, alone, and withdrawn as you struggle to assimilate in your new environment. The initial excitement of starting over in a new place may give way to anxiety, loneliness and depression. Social norms, lifestyles, and general attitudes may be drastically different than what you are used to. The things you loved about your hometown--favorite restaurants, neighborhood pubs, and regional foods and activities-- may seem more important to you than ever. If you are moving to another country, culture shock will be even more severe. The language barrier can make you feel even more alienated and frustrated.
The easiest way to cope with culture shock is to look at it as an experience to learn and grow from as an individual. Change and the strength to accept it builds personality and character. The chance to try new things and meet new people is a great advantage of moving away to a new city, state or even country. Try getting involved in your new community by joining clubs, a local sports team, a church group or by volunteering. This will help you to form new friendships and make your new neighborhood or city feel more like home.
Being away from loved ones
Another drawback to moving long-distance is saying good-bye to friends and family. If you are accustomed to a close-knit support system readily available and close-by, you may have a difficult time adjusting to life without them.
Fortunately, we live in an age where keeping in touch is easier than ever. Facebook, Skype and smartphones all make retaining connections with far-off friends and loved ones as simple as clicking a button. If you find yourself feeling anxious and alone, having a face-to-face vent session with your best friend is as easy as logging onto Skype from your home computer or laptop. Planning a trip home is another great way to ease your anxiety about being away from friends and family. It will give you a sense of comfort and something to look forward to when you are feeling unnerved by the separation.
Starting a new job
If you have relocated for a new job opportunity, you may experience anxiety about starting your new career. Beginning a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience--you may feel pressured to impress your new boss, nervous about being accepted by your co-workers, or harbor self-doubts about your skills and your ability to perform well in the position.
Combat your stress about starting your new job by staying positive and confident. Your attitude will shape your success and how you are perceived by others. Think of this new experience as an adventure--exciting rather than scary. Eating a healthy breakfast or taking a short walk on your lunch break are a couple of other ways to minimize your anxiety and get you feeling proactive and motivated about your new job.
Getting your children adjusted to a new school
Moving with children is rarely easy--being forced to leave behind their friends and their school, many children become resentful about starting over at a new place. They may act out, throw tantrums, and become withdrawn and depressed. Fitting in at a new school can be very stressful for children, and the experience could negatively affect both their behavior and their grades.
Any good parent knows-- when your children are unhappy, you are unhappy. Help your child adjust to their new school by getting involved in school functions, encouraging him or her to join clubs or sports teams, emphasizing all of the school's great qualities, and openly discussing your child's concerns. Empathize with your child by letting him or her know that you understand how they are feeling and are going through a lot of the same emotions.
Dealing with lost or damaged belongings
A great source of stress and anxiety after moving comes from tearing open a box to find your treasured wine glasses reduced to a heap of broken shards or being unable to locate your box of beloved books. Lost or damaged belongings can certainly put a damper on any moving experience, and handling the frustrating claims process with your movers is enough to drive anyone up a wall.
If uncooperative movers have stricken you with stress, there are a few resources available to facilitate the resolution process. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA), and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are all organizations that will contact the moving company and attempt to speed the claims process along. While none of these agencies can mandate the movers to comply, they can persuade them to appease you. Most movers will not want a complaint from you on their record, so getting these organizations involved can help.
You may also be eligible for the AMSA's Arbitration Program. The National Arbitration Forum administers the program and their decision is legally binding on both you and your movers and can be enforced in court. Requests for arbitration are not free--administrative fees will apply to you and your movers, unless the movers offer to pay a portion or the entirety of your fees. While arbitration is voluntary for you, it may be mandatory for your mover. Your moving company is required to accept your request for arbitration concerning disputes of less than $10,000.
If your new home is a fixer-upper, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you will have to put into it. Remodeling a house can be a harrowing and challenging task, which will require countless hours of planning, decisions and sweat. Even if you are paying professionals and doing none of the actual labor-- coordinating the jobs, overseeing the work and shopping for new light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, carpeting, tiles, and paint will require an immense amount of time, thought, energy and commitment.
Ease your anxiety when remodeling your new home by focusing on the end result. The image of how great your home will look after everything is completed will motivate you to stay focused and maintain a positive attitude. You should also set a realistic time frame for the project--it will reduce your stress levels if you are not rushing to meet an unattainable deadline. Also, realize that no matter how meticulously you plan, things are bound to go wrong during a home remodel. The fixtures you ordered may be delayed, some jobs may wind up costing more than you anticipated, or your contractors could make a mistake. Being prepared for mishap when it occurs will help you to resolve the matter without going off the deep end.
Photo by: Ambro (Freedigitalphotos.net)