A girl feeling stressed before long-distance moving overlay
Posted in Moving Tips&Tricks on May 10, 2023
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Understanding and Overcoming Moving Stress

Relocating to a new state can be an exciting and positive life change, but it can also be a source of significant moving stress and anxiety. Whether it’s the physical burden of packing and transporting belongings, the emotional strain of leaving behind familiar surroundings, or the uncertainty of adjusting to a new environment, relocation can be a challenging experience. Luckily, there are strategies and resources available to help you cope with it – and we can help you learn them.

Is Moving Stressful?

Embarking on a new journey in a different home can be both thrilling and daunting, as it often represents fresh beginnings and opportunities for growth. However, the process of relocation itself can be a source of considerable stress and anxiety for many individuals. There are many different factors contributing to the emotional turmoil that often accompanies relocation. However, by understanding what makes an interstate relocation stressful, you can better prepare yourself to handle these challenges and successfully transition into your new life.

A man packing household goods before long-distance moving
An average American moves more than ten times in their lifetime

What Are the Main Causes of Moving Stress?

Why is moving so stressful? Organizing a relocation implies significant changes in various aspects of an individual’s life. Moreover, the sole idea of transferring to a new environment and leaving behind familiar surroundings can create uncertainty and feelings of anxiety.

No matter which city you pick to live in, the unfamiliarity of the new surroundings can cause apprehension about the unknown, which can contribute to negative emotions. Additionally, the financial burden of relocation can be overwhelming and add to the stress of moving.

In a survey conducted by OnePoll, respondents choose relocation as the most stressful life event they recently experienced

At the same time, one of the most challenging aspects of this change is leaving behind friends and family. Planning a relocation to a new city alone can mean leaving behind important social support networks and relationships that have been developed over time. This loss can create feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can be difficult to manage. That is why it’s essential to acknowledge these feelings and take steps to make friends and create new social connections after the relocation is done.

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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Relocation Stress?

Relocation stress can manifest in a variety of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Feeling tired and drained due to physical and emotional demands is one of the most common physical signs, followed by sleep disturbances, tension headaches or migraines, muscle tension, digestive issues, as well as a weakened immune system.

These physical symptoms are often combined with emotional ones, such as:

  • Anxiety – worrying about the relocation day preparations and everything that comes after,
  • Sadness or depression – many people find themselves mourning the loss of connections and routines.
  • Irritability – you may experience increased frustration and annoyance due to the upheaval and changes involved in relocation,
  • Mood swings – fluctuations in emotions are also a common sign of relocation stress.

You’ll Most Likely Notice the Changes in Your Behavior as Well

Although procrastinating would be one of the biggest relocation mistakes you can make, it can also make you put off important tasks related to the relocation or new living situation. Another common behavioral sign that you’re stressed out is avoiding social interactions and opportunities to make new connections. You can also experience some difficulty making choices or become more prone to making impulsive decisions.

A girl worried about long-distance moving
The pressure a relocation brings can lead to changes in your usual demeanor

What Are Some Useful Tips for Overcoming Moving Stress?

Whether you’re relocating to a neighboring state or across the country, you’ll likely experience some stressful situations – which is why it’s important to learn how to overcome them. Therefore, we’ve come up with a list of all the necessary relocation tips to help you navigate this potentially overwhelming process.

Plan and Organize Ahead of Time

Planning and organizing ahead of time can significantly reduce stress. Start by creating a timeline with deadlines for tasks such as packing, transferring utilities, or, for example, address changes.

It’s also a good idea to create a comprehensive new apartment checklist of tasks to stay on track and ensure that you don’t forget anything important. When it comes to packing (whether you wish to get packing services or pack on your own), don’t forget to declutter and downsize before you start boxing everything up – it will make your move easier.

Make sure to organize your belongings by room and use relocation labels for boxes accordingly to streamline unpacking. Finally, set aside a bag or a box with relocation essentials, where you’ll place all the items you need immediately upon arrival, such as toiletries, clothes, or important documents.

Seek Support From Friends and Family

Seeking support from friends and family can make a big difference when dealing with relocation stress. Ask for help with different tasks, and share your feelings with loved ones to feel more supported and understood. Consider throwing a going away party and plan visits with friends or family at your new location to help you settle in and feel more connected.

Hire Professional Long-Distance Movers

Getting reputable white glove moving services, such as those Long Distance Movers can provide, can alleviate some of the stress associated with relocating. Therefore, if you wish to relocate efficiently and stress-free, it’s important to research and compare quotes from several companies and verify their credentials and reputation. Coordinate the details of your move, including relocation date, specific needs, and expectations, to ensure a smooth experience.

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Focus on the Positive Aspects of the Move

Focusing on relocation benefits can help shift your mindset and reduce stress. Embrace this adventure as an opportunity for personal growth and new experiences. In order to do so, try to set personal, professional, or social goals to help you look forward to your new life. You should also research your new area, including the neighborhood, local attractions, and amenities, to build anticipation and excitement.

A woman smiling after long-distance moving
By shifting your perspective, you can transform the experience into a more enjoyable adventure

What Are the Coping Strategies You Can Apply?

Practicing meditation and mindfulness can help you manage stress by increasing self-awareness and promoting relaxation. Mindfulness techniques, such as focusing on your breath or observing your thoughts without judgment, can help you stay present and reduce anxiety.

At the same time, note that regular exercise and physical activity have been shown to reduce stress levels, improve mood, and increase overall well-being. Engaging in activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga can help release endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, and provide a healthy outlet for stress. Did you know that you can also practice stretches for stress relief? If you’re not sure how to do it, take a look at the video below:

YouTube video

Relaxation Techniques and Talk Therapy

Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery, can help you calm your mind and body. These techniques can be practiced anywhere and can be particularly helpful in managing stress during challenging situations.

On the other hand, talking to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can be another effective way to cope when nothing else seems to help. Talk therapy allows you to express your feelings, explore the root causes of your stress, and develop coping strategies tailored to your individual needs.

You Can Also Try Utilizing Creative Outlets

Engaging in creative activities, such as painting, writing, playing music, or crafting, can serve as a healthy outlet and provide a sense of accomplishment. Creative pursuits can also help you focus your mind on something positive and enjoyable, providing a welcome distraction from stressors. They can work as a coping mechanism as well, as long as you don’t have a last-minute move and need to relocate in a hurry.

A woman painting before long-distance moving
Drawing and painting are highly effective ways to cope and channel your emotions

With the Right Help, Relocation Stress Will Be Minimal

An interstate relocation can be a challenging and potentially overwhelming experience, but the good news is that you can influence the amount of stress you’re experiencing during this process. By implementing effective coping strategies, seeking support from friends and family, staying organized throughout the process, and getting the best white glove moving service, you can significantly reduce relocation stress.

It’s normal to feel stressed during a move, but with the positive mindset and the professional help our team can offer, you can relax and embrace the change fully. Therefore, feel free to contact us, book your move – and confidently embrace the exciting new chapter in your life.


How Can I Prepare Myself to Cope With the Stress of Moving?

First, create a detailed relocation checklist and schedule, including tasks such as packing, arranging for utilities, and notifying important contacts of your new address. It can also be helpful to declutter and downsize before the relocation to minimize the number of items you need to transport. Taking care of yourself by getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy meals can also help you better cope with the stress of relocation.

What Are Some Strategies to Reduce Moving Stress?

Start the planning and packing process well in advance of the relocation date to avoid last-minute panic. Enlisting the help of friends and family or hiring white glove movers can also make the process easier. Creating a packing and labeling system, staying organized, and taking breaks when needed can also help alleviate stress.

How Can I Find Support During the Moving Process?

Seeking support from family, friends, or a professional white glove moving company can provide emotional and physical assistance during the process. Joining online communities or local groups can also provide valuable advice and resources. Additionally, reaching out to a therapist or counselor can help address any underlying emotional stress or anxiety related to the move.

What Are Some Relaxation Techniques to Help Alleviate Moving Stress?

Deep breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation can promote relaxation and reduce anxiety about relocation. Engaging in physical activities such as walking or running can also release endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels. It can also be achieved by listening to calming music, taking a bath, or getting a massage.

How Can I Manage My Emotions During a Move?

Practicing self-care activities can help process and manage emotions. Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can also provide a safe space to express and process emotions.

What Should I Do if My Moving Stress Becomes Overwhelming?

If relocation stress becomes overwhelming, it’s important to take a step back and allow yourself to breathe. Taking a break, engaging in relaxation techniques, or seeking support can help alleviate stress. If needed, reaching out to a therapist or counselor can provide additional support in managing overwhelming emotions.

Is It Normal to Feel Anxious or Stressed During a Move?

Yes, it is normal to feel anxious or stressed during relocation to a new home. It is a major life change that can cause a range of emotions, including anxiety, stress, and sadness. It’s important to acknowledge and address these emotions.

Can Hiring Professional Movers Help Reduce Moving Stress?

Yes, hiring professional long-distance movers can help reduce relocation stress. Professional movers can provide physical assistance with packing and transporting items, as well as offer expertise and advice on the relocation process.

How Can I Help My Family Cope With the Stress of Moving?

It’s important to communicate openly and regularly about the relocation and involve everyone in the planning process as much as possible. It can also be helpful to create a sense of excitement about the new environment by researching and exploring the new area together. Providing emotional support and creating a sense of routine and familiarity during and after the relocation can also help alleviate stress for the whole family.

What Are Some Common Mistakes People Make That Contribute to Moving Stress?

One common relocation mistake that contributes to stress is waiting until the last minute to start planning and packing. Another mistake is not decluttering and downsizing before the relocation, which can result in transporting unnecessary items and added expenses. Not properly labeling boxes or failing to pack essential items separately can also lead to added frustration during the unpacking process.

How Long Does It Typically Take To Adjust to a New Environment After a Move?

The adjustment time can vary depending on the individual and their circumstances. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to feel settled and adjusted.

Are There Any Resources Available to Help With Moving Stress?

Yes, there are resources available to help with this type of stress. It can come in the form of long-distance moving services, which can alleviate the physical burden of the move. On the other hand, online communities and local groups can provide valuable advice and resources for managing the emotional toll of relocation.

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