Moving can be a catalyst for anxiety, but not all anxious behaviors are necessarily bad. Anxiety can often make us more alert, motivate us to take action and encourage us to be efficient. Constant anxiety can become problematic if overwhelming feelings interfere with your life. Do you know how to cope with moving anxiety and the stress of relocation?
Feelings of anxiety can occur at any stage of life and may be so intense that you are prevented from leaping into anything new. If this is the case, take steps to reduce anxiety can help you overcome your moving woes.
Between changing jobs, moving away from friends and budgeting for all moving expenses, you may feel anxious or overwhelmed while preparing to relocate.
Recognize the signs of moving anxiety
Do you feel jittery and filled with dread whenever you think about moving? There are other common emotional symptoms of anxiety that you should be aware of, especially if you are trying confront to your moving worries.
- Trouble concentrating
- Anticipating the worst
- Memory lapse
Anxiety affects more than just your feelings. It also involves physical symptoms, which can often be mistaken for illness, such as:
- Upset stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension
TIP: Episodes of intense panic or fear are often characterized as panic attacks. These attacks usually occur without warning and can easily distort your senses. If you are in a situation that triggers a panic attack, try to stay calm and safely remove yourself from the situation.
Face your anxiety before moving
Before we move, our apprehension is based on a fear of the unknown. Whether we are anticipating a new job or school, we try to imagine how it will look and feel. Some of the most commonly asked questions we ask before we move are:
- Will I be happy? Of course, you won't know this answer until after you move, but that doesn't stop you from asking it over and over again.
- How will my family fit in? When you aren't worrying about yourself, you focus on the family members moving with you, wondering if they are going to end up happy.
- What will happen to my friendships? After spending so much time creating constructive relationships with companions, the idea of leaving them induces anxiety. If your friends happen to be your family, the notion of departing becomes even deeper and more emotional.
- How much will the move cost me? After acknowledging your personal apprehension, financial fear kicks in as you consider the expensive cost of moving. When a move is immediate and mandatory, the financial stress level increases even more.
- What will I do if it doesn't work out? One of the most frightening questions to ponder is the possibility that the move might not work out. Wondering this worst-case scenario can set up anyone for anxiety.
Handling anxiety after you move
Now that you have finally arrived at your new home, the anxiety from after your move could be worse than the fear you had before. With no chance to change your mind, you are faced with a whole new set of questions.
- Will I be forgotten? It's likely you'll question your legacy as most do when they move. Asking yourself if you really made a difference in the lives of others, be it professional or personal, will probably cause anxiety.
- What if they don't like me? Walking through the front door of a job or school is frightening. When you leave all your friends behind, you're alone, vulnerable and open to rejection.
- Where do I hang out? Like your friends, you've left your favorite hot spots behind and don't know where to go for a good time. From restaurants to retail stores, you have to find your way all over again and see where you are most comfortable.
- How do I get back? All you want to do is be comfortable in your new surroundings. Remember that will not happen overnight!
How to deal with moving anxiety
Some, if not most, of the indicators of anxiety can be handled without any type of medication. However, many seek profesional help to avoid a major health issue. Before you call a doctor, evaluate the overall anxiety in your life to determine if it is something other than moving making you anxious.
TIP: Your diet, sleeping habits, caffeine consumption and career could potentially cause anxiety.
If you determine if moving is the root of your anxiety, take the following steps to help reduce your worries:
- Designate a time for worrying about your move. Determine a time of day to confront your moving anxieties. Make this your "worry period" every day.
- Push back on your worries. If during the day, or at some undesirable time you start feeling overwhelmed about moving, write down your worries and save it for your "worry period."
- Make sure to address your worries. Use your "worry period" wisely to go over your anxiety list. The "worry period" should be used to only think about your moving anxieties.
Still feeling anxious? Try a few of the following tips to relax and regain your composure:
- Mediate. Close your eyes, breathe deep and relax. By gaining control of your physical reaction to anxiety, you can begin to regain your mental and emotional state of mind. Concentrate on your breathing as you sit quietly to distract you from the racing thoughts that worked you up to begin with.
- Talk to someone. As soon as you speak about anything upsetting, it loses its power. Deflate your doubts by telling them to a friend or loved one who will listen and offer sound advice to help you avoid further anxiety.
- Watch a movie or read a book. Get out of your head and into someone else's mind. Watching a movie or reading a book will divert your attention as you follow the film or novel. You'll forget, even if it's only for a short while.
Ask yourself questions to attain a more positive perspective of moving. If you feel overwhelmed by moving anxiety, there are many support groups and trained professionals who can offer support. Often, a conversation with a friend or family member can help you move closer to your moving goals. Before you know it, you'll find yourself right at home in your new surroundings.