Moving can be exciting. But it is also among life’s most stressful transitions, commensurate with death of a loved one, divorce, or loss of a job. Why is moving so emotionally taxing? And how can you manage the emotional challenges associated with your move? Domu sought answers from Lauren Benoist, Ph.D., a professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Chicago’s Adler University, Kristi Liska, a licensed clinical social worker in Chicago, and Jody Michael, an executive coach in Chicago.
Why is moving so stressful?
"Moving is change and change can feel overwhelming because it triggers all sorts of emotions such as anxiety, sadness, and excitement,” opined Liska. Jody Michael added that “change is one of life’s biggest stressors. For some people, the stress associated with change is so intense” that they “become stuck in a pattern of inertia” rather than make a housing change.
But you’re searching the listings on Domu because you’re ready to move. So keep these tips in mind:
- Be kind to yourself. “Relocations come with a sense of in-betweenness; the sense of existing between familiarity and newness. It feels vulnerable. Mistakes might happen in this in-between state, so it’s important that you’re kind to yourself,” suggests Benoist.
- Take a holistic approach to decision-making. “When making the decision to move, it’s really important to take a holistic approach, weighing all the factors—financial, emotional and logistical—to determine if a move is right for you, right now,” counsels Michael.
- Acknowledge your feelings. “It’s important to allow your feelings and to practice self-care and self-empathy during the moving process. To deal with anxiety, try body movement or breathing exercises. If feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s time to seek help whether it is from a counselor, professional mover, or the support of friends. Your feelings will lead you to what you need,” offers Liska.
- Consider whether inertia or fear are holding you back. According to Michael, “While there may be many advantages to moving, change also involves letting go, losing the familiarity of your neighborhood. And that’s hard for many people. You become accustomed to a certain coffee shop, say hi to the same people as you walk your dogs every morning and take a familiar route to work. It’s easier to avoid addressing these fears, so you push away the idea. In doing so, you could be missing opportunities.”
We hope that Domu helps you move from searching to finding with minimal stress, and we wish you the best in your new home!