Moving Preparation March 6, 2024

How Stressful Is Moving? Insights From Shepherd International Movers

Maya Brown

Born in Atlanta, Maya has called many places home in her lifetime. She's a content writer and moving expert who loves to help people relocate smoothly.

Boxes, bubble wrap, and a bit of panic – sounds familiar? Packing all of your belongings into boxes can really seem like life’s most chaotic puzzle. But how stressful is moving abroad really? This question has crossed the minds of many, turning excitement for a new beginning into a bundle of nerves. Stay with us as we unpack the truth behind the moving day jitters, offering practical advice and a glimpse into how we can help ease the burden.

How Stressful Is Moving?

Stress levels during a move are as unique as the individuals experiencing them. They’re shaped by personal circumstances, coping techniques, and the support network you have around.

It’s completely natural, as this journey isn’t just about the physical hurdles of boxing up your life, coordinating transport, or scouting for your next abode. It’s also the emotional experience of leaving what’s familiar, adjusting to a new country, and creating new connections. The thrill of embarking on this new chapter is undeniable, but so is the importance of recognizing and navigating the stressors that tag along.

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Unpacking the Pressure – Why Is Moving Stressful?

According to the 2024 Gitnux Market Data Report, around 61% of people place relocation at the top of their list when it comes to stressful events.

This means it surpasses even the angst triggered by divorce or embarking on a new career path. Like any major life transition, this endeavor carries its own set of stress-inducing challenges, especially if you’re moving internationally.

But why is it such a common occurrence? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

As there are many reasons to move, there’s also a complex tapestry of factors that make moving a stressful life event, filled with anxiety, tension, and adjustment insomnia.

Nearly one in three people find moving day more stressful than their wedding day

We’ll dissect these factors more thoroughly, but for starters, here’s a snapshot of the most common triggers:

  • The task of organizing packing and unpacking,
  • Navigating the logistics of transportation and timing,
  • The financial aspects, especially when relocating on a low budget,
  • Emotional attachment to the current home and community,
  • Adjusting to a new neighborhood, culture, or job.

Coping With Moving Anxiety in a Healthy Way Might Make or Break the Whole Experience

Facing the stressors head-on, with the right coping mechanisms, can significantly alter the whole ordeal. Each aspect has a counter-strategy for relocation stress management, which we’ll also dive into. So, let’s take it one step at a time and see how you can fundamentally transform your journey of moving overseas, turning it into a positive and growth-filled experience.

A woman feeling stress when moving overseas
Relocation brings plenty of aspects that could make a person tick

Let’s Break Down the Logistics – Minimizing Moving Stress Levels While Dealing With the Practicalities

The moment you decide where to live, a mountain of tasks begins to loom over you. Creating a to-do list is a proactive step, but one glance at the burgeoning relocation inventory can send anyone into a tailspin. While breaking down this monumental task into smaller steps is exactly the way to go, this is actually where the anxiety starts to creep in for most folks.

The Tasks and the Expenses Involved Can Put a Strain on Anyone

Packing efficiently is an art and a science involving more than just boxes and tape. It’s deciding what to keep, donate, or throw away. It’s also the delicate dance of wrapping your grandmother’s china and other fragile items so they survive the trip, disassembling furniture without losing the screws, and somehow figuring out how to pack your life into a couple of cardboard boxes.

Adding to the complexity is the financial aspect. From the expenses involved with international moving by sea to buying packing materials and possibly facing unexpected costs along the way, the financial planning required can be just as intricate as the physical move. It’s a balancing act of budgeting, all while trying to ensure the move itself goes as smoothly as possible.

An Experienced International Moving Company Can Lift a Lot of Weight From Your Shoulders

In the midst of this chaos, hiring movers can be a true game-changer. However, this doesn’t mean you should just choose a company you set your eyes on first – that’s a recipe for falling victim to a relocation scam. With the right experts by your side, you can reap the benefits of:

  • Efficiency and expertise in packing and unpacking,
  • Safe and secure transport of belongings,
  • Coordination of logistics, from start to finish.

Beyond the basic services, experienced companies such as Shepherd International Movers offer more comprehensive packing services to further alleviate the pressure. On top of that, for those thinking about bringing their prized ride along but feeling overwhelmed at the sheer thought of this task, there’s also overseas vehicle shipping. With these aspects taken care of, you can focus on the excitement that lies ahead, learn a new language, and set the stage for a new beginning.

A mover pointing and holding a box
Hiring movers will take a lot of heat off your shoulders

The Sheer Scope of the Journey Across the Pond Can Be Stress-Inducing

No matter if you’re relocating to Canada or all the way across the pond, transitioning your whole life is obviously much more than a simple change of address. The sheer volume of items accumulated over years in a household needs to be evaluated, packed, and shipped over thousands of miles.

This distance magnifies every aspect of the move, from the logistics of international shipping to the anxiety of ensuring everything arrives intact. Whether it’s a cozy apartment’s worth of belongings or a sprawling home’s lifetime collection, each item represents a piece of your story, making it both a physical move and an emotional voyage at the same time.

Embracing a New Culture Can Be Both Exciting and Stressful

It’s thrilling to discover new customs, languages, and lifestyles, but there’s always a flip side. First off, culture shock is as real as it can be, especially when you’re going to a place that’s super different from what you’re used to. Also, the initial charm of novelty can quickly give way to feelings of isolation or misunderstanding as you navigate the unspoken rules of a new society.

To bridge this gap, it’s essential to approach the experience with openness and curiosity. Start by learning the language, even if it’s just basic phrases at first. Seek out community groups or social clubs that cater to expatriates or individuals with similar interests. Immersing yourself in the local culture through food, festivals, and traditions can also be incredibly enriching. Remember, it’s a gradual process, filled with its own set of challenges as well as rewards.

Meeting new people can be a great way to feel excited about the change

The Emotional Toll of Relocation Is Real – Here’s How to Deal With It

As we gently shift our focus towards the emotional side of things, it’s crucial to acknowledge the profound impact moving abroad can have on a person. After all, this process isn’t just about getting your belongings from point A to point B – it’s about uprooting your life, with all its memories and routines, and planting it somewhere new.

This transition, while exciting, can also stir up a whirlwind of emotions that many might not anticipate. Let’s navigate this emotional landscape together so you can know what to expect and how to deal with it:

Anticipatory Stress and Anxiety Before the Move

The period leading up to the big day is often rife with anxiety about moving out, primarily due to the uncertainty and the myriad of tasks that lie ahead. This can manifest in sleepless nights, a sense of dread, or even overwhelming anxiety about the unknowns of the new environment. It’s a natural response to a significant life change, where the comfort of the familiar is replaced with the unpredictability of the new.

Stress-free moving solutions for this particular problem begin with organization and preparation. Start by breaking down your move into manageable tasks and setting realistic deadlines for each. Creating a detailed relocation checklist can provide a sense of control over the situation. Additionally, practicing mindfulness or relaxation techniques can help calm the mind and reduce anxiety levels.

Disruption of Familiarity and Routine

Humans are creatures of habit, and when our established routines are disrupted, it can leave us feeling disoriented and insecure. As a result, relocation can be quite stressful, as you’re losing the everyday rituals that provide a sense of stability and security. To mitigate this disruption, try to establish new routines as quickly as possible.

Explore your new neighborhood to find replacements for your old haunts. Maybe you’ll discover a new coffee shop or park that becomes part of your daily ritual. Keep in touch with your routine as much as possible, even if it means adapting it to fit your new surroundings. This can provide a bridge between the old and the new, helping you adjust more comfortably to your new life.

Emotional Attachments to Belongings and Memories

Relocation often means sorting through belongings and deciding what makes the cut for the new home. This process can unearth deep emotional attachments to items that hold significant memories, making it difficult to part with them. Dealing with this aspect of the move requires a gentle approach. Allow yourself time to go through these items and reminisce.

For things that can’t come with you but hold sentimental value, consider taking photos or creating a digital scrapbook as a way to preserve those memories without the physical clutter. If certain items are too hard to let go of, see if family members or friends might like to keep them. Sometimes, knowing that a cherished item is with someone you care about can make parting with it easier.

All in All, Prioritizing Self-Care Is the Best Moving Support for Stress Relief

In the whirlwind of packing boxes, juggling logistics, and adjusting to new surroundings, it’s all too easy to place your own well-being on the back burner. However, amidst all the chaos, self-care emerges as not just a luxury but a necessity. Here are some self-care strategies to consider during the whole ordeal:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet,
  • Getting enough sleep,
  • Exercising regularly,
  • Scheduling downtime,
  • Practicing mindfulness or meditation.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Emotional Support From Loved Ones or Professionals

This journey, with its ups and downs, isn’t one you have to navigate alone. Leaning on the support of friends, family, or even professional help for moving stress can make a significant difference in managing the emotional toll. Remember, seeking support is a sign of strength, not weakness, and an important step in taking care of your mental health during this transition.

Friends hugging
Above all, remember - you don't have to do this alone

A Stress-Free Journey Is Possible With the Right Movers by Your Side

As we’ve journeyed through moving stress reduction strategies, it’s clear that this transition is inherently anxiety-inducing. However, it’s also an opportunity for growth and new beginnings. Every step you take, no matter how uncertain it may seem, is a step towards a brighter, more settled future in your new home.

Moving and stress might go hand in hand, but our team at Shepherd International Movers has gone through it thousands of times. With our expert services, from packing to overseas shipping, we’re committed to lifting the weight off your shoulders. Contact us today to learn how we can make your move as smooth and stress-free as possible. Your new chapter awaits, and it’s just a phone call away.

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