How to Stay Calm During a Move

Deandra Henahan
Written by Deandra Henahan
Updated August 6, 2015
couple packing for a move
Sometimes a move can make you feel like you have a never-ending to-do list. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

Chances are if you’re moving, you’re probably also making some other significant life changes.

Collectively, these changes can produce a storm of stressors.

You may not be able to control the life changes that come your way, but the good news is that managing the stress they create is possible. Simple stress-relieving activities can help you keep calm and healthy amidst the packing and planning you’ll be conquering in the coming months.

Keep a regular exercise routine

man on exercise equipment
Regular exercise relieves stress and keeps you healthy. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

True, you might be lifting lots of heavy things, carrying items up and down staircases and scrubbing walls and windows as you get ready to move. But don’t neglect keeping a regular exercise routine. Thirty minutes a day can greatly reduce stress and anxiety, not to mention help you maintain the energy and strength you’ll need for the big move.

RELATED: Combat Stress with Exercise

Get enough sleep

Your bed is calling. Try not to stay up all night packing. (Photo by Summer Galyan)

If you’re moving in the middle of job change, the only hours you have to organize, pack and clean might be late at night. It’s OK to work late, but remember that your mind and body will work best when they have proper sleep. Try to keep a consistent bedtime so you can get the most out of your waking hours.

Eat a balanced diet

fruits and vegetables
No one wants to be sick during a move. Eat right to stay healthy. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

With all the hustle and bustle of moving, good eating habits tend to go by the wayside. But your body needs nutrients to manage stress and maintain health. Include fresh vegetables, fruits and plenty of drinking water in your daily eating.

CHECK OUT: How to Make Your Home a Better Place for Healthy Eating

Take time to play

couple happily riding bikes
Carve out a little bit of time every day to do something that makes you happy. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

Go for a walk, play a board game or cook your favorite meal. Taking time away from the stressors often gives new clarity and energy. You’ll find that when you come back to the tasks at hand, you’ll be much better equipped to manage problems.


people practicing yoga in studio
Practicing yoga helps you keep calm and focus on your breath. (Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic)

Practice breathing deeply for a few minutes each day. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and focus on inhaling and exhaling. Play some soothing music in the background if that helps.

CHECK OUT: 11 Reasons to Wrap Your Mind Around Practicing Yoga

Make a to-do list

writing to-do list on sticky note
Writing your to-do list down helps keep the tasks from cluttering your thoughts. (Photo by Katelin Kinney)

When you start getting overwhelmed by how much you still need to do, one of the best ways to get that stress off your shoulders is to write it all down. List all the tasks you need to do, small and large. Then prioritize the tasks. Which must you do today? Which must you do this week? Writing out upcoming tasks and assigning a time for you to do each one will make the work ahead seem much more doable.

Surround yourself with nature

girl lying in grass relaxing
Spending time in nature helps clear your mind. (Photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

With all the time our brains and eyes spend on screens, a little bit of nature can go a long way in calming your mind. Buy a plant. Find a nearby park. Sit outside and watch clouds. Having a few minutes alone with your thoughts and with nature will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the stress of moving.

Practice a hobby

craft closet with yarn
Whether for 10 minutes or an hour, allow yourself some time to practice a hobby. (Photo by Summer Galyan)

Whether you’re a knitter, painter or model car maker, losing yourself in a new (or forgotten) hobby can alleviate anxiety and help you regain perspective. Even setting aside 15 minutes a day for your hobby will establish a healthy, consistent pattern that you’ll find yourself enjoying more and more.

MORE: Use the List to Learn New Skills: Try Cooking, Music or Dance Classes

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