Moving to a new home is full of all sorts of emotions, and surveys show it is one of the most stressful life events. Therefore, it is important that you manage your own mental and emotional health by heading into a move with a good plan.
Consider these seven steps to managing your mental health throughout the process. If, however, you have questions about your or a loved one’s mental health that require more than this advice, consider taking a mental health screening.
1. Focus on the new and exciting stuff.
Like many other areas of life, changing your mindset is key. While it is important to let yourself feel sad about what you’re leaving (step 7), make sure to focus on what you’re gaining. There will be new neighbors, new routines, and new opportunities. Imagine pleasant surprises to come.
2. Make plans with old friends.
Social interaction is vital to your mental health, and while you’ll definitely want to make some new connections soon, finding ways to stay connected with old friends after you move will ease the trasition.
3. Join something.
Don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet to become part of your new community. Whether your interests are sports, politics, arts, gardening, or anything else, chances are your new community offers the opportunity to nurture those interests and make new connections.
4. Lists, lists, lists.
If you’ve never been a list maker, now is the time to start. There are so many things you need to do that staying organized will give you a feeling of control. While you’re at your list making, why not try some journaling, since writing helps relieve stress.
5. Create a “moving timeline.”
Once you have your lists, schedule out a timeline of how you will manage the various items, so that you keep expectations of yourself and others realistic.
6. Find some objects d’memory.
If you are worried about missing the place you are leaving, bring something to your new home that will be a positive reminder of that place. If you don’t have anything specific, take a quick photo of someone important to you in the home you are leaving.
7. If you’re sad, let yourself feel—and share—it.
Don’t talk yourself out of feelings of sadness. Let yourself feel them, and share them, too. It will be easier to move on from that sadness if you accept it. If you don’t know who to share your feelings with, take the time to find a mental health confidant.
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