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One thing I wasn’t expecting when moving cross country, was the emotionally intense grief. It was like something was dying and my heart was breaking into a million pieces every day. Looking back, I probably could have learned to manage the emotional stress of moving a little better.
I cried every single day leading up to the move and I have cried once we arrived in Florida. Don’t get me wrong, I do think moving was the best thing for our family, I just wasn’t expecting the emotions to be so BIG.
Few things that helped me
- Don’t dwell here. I have decided that I will allow myself to feel the sadness, but I’m not going to stay in the sadness.
- Share your emotions. I found that when I shared my feelings with my children that they realized it was okay to share their feelings. Moving is hard, it’s stressful and when you move across the country, you have a loss too. So to grieve the loss of your friends is okay.
- Think about the good things about the move. This was really hard for me. Despite knowing that moving had some really good benefits like being closer to family, I still was leaving all my friends and my network of people. But I forced myself to remember some of the benefits of moving. Somethings like no more Illinois crazy taxes, no longer gray winters, closer to family.
- Don’t let the feelings prevent you from moving forward. There were days where emotionally I was exhausted. But I realized that I couldn’t just sit there. I had to keep moving forward. So that would mean packing a box, taking stuff to Goodwill, and just getting rid of stuff.
- Allow yourself to rest. Despite having to keep packing, I decided that every day I would take my kids to the pool so we could see our friends. Being outside and away from all the packing and stuff helped us to let go of some of the stress.
- Prayer. There was LOTS of prayer during the move and even once we reached our destination. Thankfully, as a Christian, I have comfort in knowing that God goes before me and He comforts me. My family prayed a lot during the move because the pain of letting go was so unexpected. Also coaching my son through the whole process just added to the emotions. Watching his heartbreak over the loss of friendships, familiarity and the only place he had called Home. It was heart-wrenching.
The bottom line, when you are moving across the country, or further away than you expected know that there are going to be emotions that go with it. Since I have moved so much prior to this move I wasn’t expecting to be so heartbroken.
Manage Emotional Stress of Moving
Write it down. There were a few nights where I just sat down and wrote down all my emotions. How I was overwhelmed with packing, how I struggled with managing my emotions and the kid’s emotions and the shock of how quickly the move was going. By writing it down I was able to process through it easier and it helped me to rest and have a little more peace.
Essential Oils. I defused essential oils a lot during this move. Essential oils created a calming smell that allowed me to have more peace. I don’t sell essential oils, but if you are interested, I use Plant Therapy and I get it on Amazon.
Breath. I practiced deep breathing during the move. Sometimes I would be in the middle of packing a box and I would start crying. Breathing allowed me to calm down but still feel.
Set a finish time. Every day I decided what time of day I would finish packing. I often wouldn’t pack another box after that time. This allowed me to be able to focus on seeing friends and hang out with my family.
Prayer. I touched on prayer earlier, but I have to tell you again. Prayer was the number 1 thing that got me through this move. Trusting that God had His best for me and my family stretched my prayer life. But he really did have the best for us. We landed in a great location in Florida, my kids love the school they are at and it’s rather close to the airport for my husband’s travel schedule.
If you are in the middle of a move and have found that managing emotions are larger than you expected them to be, I want to encourage you. Moving is hard, but bottling you feelings makes it even worse. Take a moment and pray and ask God to help you with your feelings. I know He will help you manage the emotional stress of moving.
I would love to hear from you and hear about your move. Sign up for my email list and send me an email and tell me all about your move! I can’t wait to hear from you!
Stephanie Joseph has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.