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Moving: How Do I Keep My Cool?

By: Bridgette W. Gottwald, LPC, NCC

There is nothing in life that is more constant than change. With change, moving often comes into play. Moving – it’s something we all dread, yet it persists throughout our lifespan. In order to change, we have to grow, and our environments tend to grow with us. Moving to a new home is packed with all different kinds of emotions, and surveys show that it’s “one of the most stressful life events.” Planning ahead can help, and it’s important to stay on top of your emotional health during this time. Managing your mental health throughout the process of moving is crucial and these seven steps might be helpful!

  1. Focus on new and exciting stuff 

Mindset and perspective are everything. It’s sad to think about what you are leaving behind and how your life might change, but it’s also important to look forward and think about the things you are gaining, too. With a new life typically comes new opportunities.

  1. Make plans with old friends 

 Social interaction is crucial to your mental health and well-being. While focusing on making new connections in your new home, relying on old friends to ease yourself into the transition would be wise.

  1. Join something

Whatever your new community has to offer, jump in and become a part of something that brings joy and meaning to your life. Nurturing some of your interests will give you the opportunity to make new connections and meet new people!

  1. Rely heavily on lists 

If you have never been a list maker, now is a good time to try it because it will help you stay organized. When moving, there are far too many things to remember and if you are counting on yourself to remember these things, it adds unnecessary pressure. Ideally, creating lists will help to give you a sense of control. Also, research shows that writing helps to relieve stress, so why not start journaling while you’re at it? Journaling can help you to process what you are leaving behind and about to embark on as you move forward with your new life.

  1. Create a moving timeline 

Once you have created your lists, schedule out a realistic timeline of when you will be able to accomplish what. Perhaps, it would be a good idea to prioritize this list into three different categories – high priority, medium priority, and low priority. Prioritizing will help you take care of the important stuff first, as opposed to getting bogged down in little details that can fall into place later on. What’s most pressing and needs to happen first?

  1. Take breaks when you need to

Not everything needs to, or can happen all at once. Give yourself time each day to take breaks, and remember that this is a process and journey, not a destination. Set small goals for each day, and often if you don’t allow time in your schedule for a break, it won’t happen. We all know it’s easy to get caught up in the many to-dos.

  1. Pay special attention to self-care

Typically, amidst a move, self-care takes a decline. Make sure you are aware of this happening and make an extra effort to be intentional about your needs and how you can meet them during a hectic and busy time.

If you are struggling to sustain a positive state of mental health and well-being during a move, feel free to reach out to one of our talented clinicians at Symmetry Counseling today. You can reach us at 312-578-9990. Good luck!


Seven steps to manage the stress of moving. Mindwise innovations. Retrieved from:

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