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How to Emotionally Prepare for a Long Distance Move

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While moving to a brand-new, far-off place can be thrilling, it can also be frightening and unnerving. Change is difficult for many people to accept, and uprooting your entire life to begin anew in a foreign city or state can be quite staggering. If you are preparing to embark on a long-distance move, you may be experiencing a multitude of emotions--such as excitement, fear, anxiety, sadness, frustration, and anger. If the move was a decision you were not necessarily in favor of--such as a relocation due to a spouse's job transfer--you may be feeling especially helpless. This guide will help you to deal with some of these difficult emotions that are common during a long-distance move.

Begin preparations far in advance.

Moving is an extremely complicated process that can easily become emotionally overwhelming. When you are moving long distance, you are not only concerned with the many tasks necessary to complete your relocation, but the taxing emotional distress inflicted on you as well. If you are feeling overcome with depression, sadness, anxiety or apprehension about leaving behind your home, your city, your family and your friends, it can make the endless list of moving-related duties seem impossible to handle and complete before moving day. In order to make the moving process as pain-free as possible, it is imperative that you begin making your preparations as soon as possible.

Procrastinating and waiting until the last minute to compare quotes from movers, downsize, pack, change your address, transfer medical records, enroll your children in their new school, and the numerous other chores you must fulfill will only add to your stress and make your move more emotionally-draining. Planning your move up to six months in advance will allow you ample time to organize every aspect of your long-distance relocation without feeling pressured and make it much easier to deal with emotionally.

Focus on the positive aspects of your move.

Sometimes we choose to relocate even if we are happy with our current house and neighborhood because of outside factors. Perhaps you or your spouse were granted a job offer too lucrative to pass up, and now you must leave behind the home and the people you love for the better opportunities that await you. You may feel conflicted about the decision and dwell on the negative aspects, such as how much you will miss your loved ones. This may be particularly true if your husband or wife has been transferred to a new city by their employer, and you are moving against your wishes.

No matter the reason for your long-distance move, if you have made the decision to go through with it, there is no reason to dwell on gloomy factors. Be optimistic, and consider the good things that could result from your venture. If you are moving for employment opportunities, remind yourself of the advantages of the experience and possible financial benefits. Think of how moving to a new city can expose you to different cultures, lifestyles, attitudes, and outlooks. Change is exciting and enriching--learning to pick up and start over somewhere new is a testament to your strength, resilience and character.

Say good-bye.

Make sure you give yourself sufficient time to come to terms with leaving and to bid farewell to everything and everyone you love about your hometown. Visit your favorite bars, eateries, parks, and other places of interest often before you leave. Moving keeps you busy, but spend as much time as you can with your friends and relatives before you embark on this new chapter in your life. Even those with whom you haven't been in touch--renewing forgotten friendships before you move away can be rewarding and help you to gain closure if there was an unresolved rift in the relationship.

Get plenty of rest.

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is a must for limiting the effects of worry and distress before your long-distance move. In order to be energized and productive every day that you are tackling the many tasks associated with moving, it is imperative that you get the recommended eight hours.

Overworking yourself with insufficient rest will ensure that your stress levels will only increase and wreak havoc on your emotional stability. A healthy mind depends on a healthy body--to limit the detrimental effects negative thoughts will have on you during your move, it is important to get enough sleep, eat a proper diet and stay hydrated. Taking good physical care of yourself during your move will promote happy thoughts and a positive outlook about your long-distance relocation.

Make plans for your new life.

Nothing will encourage you to think positively about your move more than getting excited about your new life. If you are moving to a new state, research the area and find out what it has to offer. You may find many popular regional activities that you would like to try, such as skiing if you are relocating to Colorado or surfing if you move to California. If you are not already moving for a job, researching career opportunities and sending out your resume to potential employers is a great way to be proactive. You may even opt to sign up for a gym, read reviews of restaurants and night spots you want to try, or look into community or volunteer organizations you want to join. The more you envision what your new life will be like in a positive way, the more excited you will be to begin. If you know there are many new and interesting things to try that are waiting for you in your new city, you will begin to look forward to the change rather than dread and resent it.

Ask for help.

When the pressure of planning and executing a move begins to take its toll, you may begin to feel more emotionally-drained than ever. Asking for the assistance and support of your close friends and family is a great way to lighten the load as well as receive spiritual strength and guidance. The mental apprehension you may experience regarding your long-distance move can be alleviated by the familiarity and encouragement of loved ones. Request their aid with packing, organizing, downsizing and other burdensome moving tasks. You will not only receive help completing important chores before your move, but you will be able to spend valuable time with your cherished friends and relatives before you leave.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on May 21, 2013

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