In 1967, two psychiatrists developed a scale for measuring stress. According to their research, different life changes create different levels of stress in our bodies. If these stress levels get too high, we are more prone to injury and illness.
One of the stressors that Holmes and Rahe identified is a change in residence.
Right alongside that stressor are others, like a change in schools, a change in marital status, and a change in work responsibilities.
A move in and of itself may not cause overwhelming stress. But chances are if you’re moving, you are probably also making some other significant life changes as well. 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 de-stressing 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
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.
Get regular sleep
If you’re moving in the middle of a change in work, the only hours you have to organize, pack, and clean might be late at night.
It’s okay 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.
With all the hustle and bustle of moving, it is easy to let good eating go. But your body needs nutrients to manage stress and maintain health. Include fresh vegetables, fruits, and plenty of drinking water in your daily eating.
Take time to play
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.
Practice breathing deeply for a few minutes each day. You might sit on the ground or on a chair. Close your eyes and focus on inhaling and exhaling. Play some soothing music in the background if that helps.
When you start getting overwhelmed by how many things still need doing, one of the best ways to get that stress off your shoulders is to write it all down. Take fifteen minutes and a pencil and paper. 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
With all the time our brains and eyes spend on screens, a little bit of nature can go a long way to de-stress. 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.
Find a hobby
The act of creating can do wonders for our stress levels. Whether you’re a knitter, a painter, or a model car maker, losing yourself in a new (or forgotten) hobby can alleviate anxiety and help you regain perspective. Even setting aside fifteen minutes a day for your hobby will establish a healthy, consistent pattern that you’ll find yourself enjoying more and more.
Now that you have the tools to de-stress, check out some of Bekins’ other blog posts to get more tips for a smooth, manageable move.