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Alcohol and Mental Health

6 Ways To Cope With the Stress of Moving

July 10, 2023
9 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 10, 2023
9 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 10, 2023
9 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 10, 2023
9 min read
Reframe App LogoReframe App Logo
Reframe Content Team
July 10, 2023
9 min read

You're surrounded by a forest of cardboard boxes. Towers of your worldly possessions, both precious and mundane, seem to close in around you. The air carries the unmistakable scent of packing tape and bubble wrap. Every corner of your home looks like a crime scene splattered with post-it notes, each with its detailed to-do list. If this scene feels familiar, then you've probably experienced the stress-inducing whirlwind we call moving.

Why Is Moving So Stressful?

Moving is one of life's most stressful events, right up there with divorce or job loss. There's a unique brand of chaos that accompanies the moving process, filled with a medley of complex emotions, seemingly endless tasks, and a whirlwind of decisions that need to be made at every turn. Change is challenging. But when that change involves uprooting our lives and establishing roots elsewhere — whether down the street or across the world — the stress compounds significantly.

Moving and the Potential for Alcohol Misuse

When engulfed in the experience of moving, we might feel an impulse to seek refuge in maladaptive coping mechanisms. It's all too easy to pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer to unwind after a long, arduous day of packing. However, while alcohol might appear as a soothing balm in the face of mounting stress, we need to remain cautious. Alcohol might provide temporary stress relief, but dependence on it to cope can lead to long-term issues, including misuse and other health concerns.

Thankfully, we're not doomed to drown in moving-induced stress or retreat into other potentially harmful coping strategies. We have at our disposal several healthier, science-backed methods to help us manage the stress of moving. Let's take a walk through six effective strategies to keep our stress levels in check during our next move.

Plan and Organize

Have you heard the age-old saying, "Failing to plan is planning to fail”? This adage couldn't ring truer when it comes to moving. The first step to taming the moving monster is to arm ourselves with a well-thought-out plan. A moving checklist and timeline can act as our map through this daunting process.

But why is planning so powerful? Interestingly, research has shown that feeling in control can significantly lower stress levels. By planning ahead, we are breaking down the colossal task of moving into smaller, more manageable tasks. This helps us to maintain a sense of control, reducing the overwhelm that often comes with moving.

Seek Support

Let's not forget, we are inherently social beings. We flourish when we feel part of a supportive network. So when the packing boxes start towering and the to-do lists seem never-ending, remember that we don't have to shoulder the burden alone. Reaching out to friends and family, or even hiring professional movers to share the load, can provide significant stress relief. Multiple studies have highlighted that social support acts as a stress buffer, shielding us from the brunt of stress-induced psychological strain.

Prioritize Self-Care

When we're neck-deep in packing tape and bubble wrap, the concept of self-care might seem like a distant dream. However, taking care of our physical health is an integral part of maintaining our mental well-being. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and ensuring that we're getting enough sleep can go a long way in managing our stress levels.

Practice Mindfulness

Amid the chaos of moving, our minds can easily become a whirlpool of worries and what-ifs. This is where mindfulness enters the scene. Mindfulness is the practice of grounding ourselves in the present moment, consciously paying attention to our current state without judgment. Techniques like deep-breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga can help us stay centered amid the chaos. Our app has a selection of breathing and meditation exercises to help you destress and reconnect with the present moment.

Harness the Power of Positive Thinking

Moving, despite its associated stress, is a significant life change and can be viewed as an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. Cultivating a positive mindset and focusing on the exciting aspects of moving can shift our perspective and reduce feelings of stress. Gratitude journaling, a popular technique in positive psychology, can be an incredibly beneficial tool during the moving process. By jotting down positive experiences related to the move or expressing gratitude for the opportunities the move might bring, we can successfully shift our focus away from stress.

Seek Professional Help

Lastly, if the stress of moving starts to feel unbearable, it's absolutely okay to reach out to professionals. Therapists and counselors can provide us with effective tools and strategies to manage stress. Sometimes, having a safe, judgment-free space to express our worries and fears can make a world of difference in our stress levels.

Here’s to a More Enjoyable Moving Journey!

Moving — a complex and challenging process — is more than just a physical process of transporting our belongings from point A to point B. It's a significant life transition, an adventure brimming with potential. By taking care of our mental well-being during this process, we're ensuring that our new chapter starts on a positive, stress-reduced note. After all, every adventure is far more enjoyable when we're feeling our best, both physically and emotionally.

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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