Why Is Moving So Stressful? (and how to cope)

Why Is Moving Stressful

Do you have a big move to a new city coming up soon? Or have you recently begun the journey to a new place? If so, you may be feeling a lot of new emotions.

Moving can make you happy, sad, nostalgic, angry, or even stressed. Many people feel stressed when they move because it is a lot to process. There is a list of a mile long of things to do before and after the move.

If you are feeling a heavy load of stress upon you due to an unforeseen or even a planned move to a new home, this article can help explain why you are feeling stressed and help you navigate it in a positive way.

Table of Contents

What Is Stress?

Stress is our body’s way of reacting to a mix of one or a few stressors, these stressors create a weak spot in your body. Stress is an emotional or physical strain on our body and well-being.

When we feel stress it can manifest itself with various emotions such as anxiousness, depression, anger, frustration, or sadness. These emotions may be short-term or long-term, depending on your situation and how well you cope with it and manage your well-being.

Physical stress will be more visible and will manifest itself in your body. You may feel tired, sick, or even injured. Physical stress

Examples Of Stressors While Moving

Everyone experiences some form of stress whenever they move. Stress is inevitable, and it is normal. Stress shouldn’t be ignored because it can lead to larger physical and mental health issues over time.

Knowing what causes stress and how to manage it can put you in a better situation overall. And if the stress feels too overwhelming, don’t be afraid to reach out for helpOpens in a new tab. from a qualified professional.

Loss Of A Job

Job Loss

The loss of a job can cause a lot of stress. While not every reason for moving is due to the loss of a job, sometimes that is the case. If you lost your job and now have to downsize or relocate, it may cause you to feel stressed.

This type of stress must be handled with care, it can cause you to feel inadequate, frustrated, and overall depressed.

The best way to manage this type of stress is to remind yourself that life is not linear. Everyone has changes in their life, some of which they didn’t foresee. Life can have indulgent years and struggle years, the best thing to do is work toward goals that put you back into a position where you are comfortable.

Excessive Physical Activity

Excessive physical activity can cause stress on both your mind and body. If you are not used to moving around a lot, carrying heavy boxes, or loading and unloading furniture, this can create a lot of stress.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle and know that you have a big move coming up, try to prepare yourself before taking on too much. You can either hire movers to help or start a daily exercise routine that will get you in a better physical and mental condition.

Multiple Tasks

To Do List

Moving to a new place takes a lot of preparation. There are multiple tasks that must be done in order to have a successful move. You will need to disconnect old utilities, reconnect the new ones, hire movers, pay deposits, pack up your belongings, and so much more.

This giant list of To-Dos can ramp up stress and course you to feel overwhelmed. But, one way to help manage it all is to create a list of everything that needs to be completed. Start with the most important stuff first and work your way down.

Creating a checklist can help you visualize what has been done and what needs to be done. Lists can be a stress reliever and help you stay organized and focused about which task must be completed next.

Lack Of Self Care

Many times when we have too much going on in our lives we hyper-focus on the things that need to be done and begin to fall short in other areas. Sometimes it’s the area of self-care that begins to suffer, especially while moving.

We become so busy with packing and every other detail that goes into moving to a new place that we forget to take care of our body and mind. Your physical and emotional well-being is very important when it comes to being and staying healthy.

Always remember to eat healthy and balanced meals, practice good hygiene, and take time for yourself in between hectic moments to relax and compose yourself.

Starting Over

Start Over

The thought of starting over can really rattle a person. You must re-learn so much when you move, everything from where to shop for groceries, where to pay for utilities, and which restaurants have the best food.

Starting over can feel overwhelming, which can lead to debilitating stress that can cause you to isolate or withdraw from society. To help yourself start over, use tools to help navigate your new normal.

Most things can be found on the internet, you can easily find reviews and locations of new places. Many companies allow online bill pay to make it easier than ever. You can even have groceries delivered for the first couple of weeks until you have a clearer mind and are able to navigate better!

Loss of A Familiar Setting

The loss of your familiar setting can be intimidating. Nostalgic feelings kick in, and you feel stressed and sad. When you move to a whole new place after living in the same place for a long time, it is normal to feel uncomfortable or stressed. This is especially true if you’re making a big change in your way of life, like moving from a big city to a small town.

The best way to overcome the feelings after you move is to remind yourself that it’s normal to be a little uncomfortable for a little while. Immerse yourself into a new way of living and create new familiar places and faces.

After a while of living in a new place, you will learn to love it for its uniqueness and what it is. Yes, at times you may think of your old familiars, but as you grow to love your new place you will miss the old location less.

How Can I Cope With Moving Stress?

Meditation to Cope With Stress

Coping with stress is important, you don’t want to always feel stressed out because it can lead to deeper issues. A healthy amount of stress is normal, but we must learn how to properly cope with the stress to alleviate and eliminate it.

Coping can be as easy as reminding yourself that life is ever-changing. It is okay to feel like you are out of your comfort zone and experience new things. Your new experiences allow you to learn, grow, and make new memories.

Other ways of coping with stress include taking breaks to do things that you enjoy like listening to your favorite song or reading a good book (check out these stress quotesOpens in a new tab.). Try taking a walk or going to the gym and getting some exercise.

Practice self-care rituals like meditation, yoga, or a spa day. Snuggle up with a loved one or pet, take a bubble bath, or simply take a nap. There are many ways to cope with the stress that moving can put on you, the best medicine for stress is one that works for you.

Always remember that stress is normal, but if it lingers for too long and won’t go away, even after you have learned coping mechanisms, it may be a good idea to talk with a licensed professional to discuss further options.

My Final Thoughts

Moving is one of the biggest life events that we go through as humans. We are pushed to the brink when it comes to packing, moving, and relearning a whole new location for survival data.

It is okay to feel stressed while moving, but you should always use tips and tools like the ones listed above to assist you in your move to keep your stress levels low and balanced.


I've been a college coach for going on 20 years now and that career has led Jen and I on quite the journey. We've lived in 7 different states and have moved a dozen different times. We've learned A LOT over the course of all those moves and we want to pass on our knowledge to help others going through the moving process.

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