October 6, 2022 Posted in Coping with Relocation
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Why Is Moving Traumatic and What Can You Do to Manage Its Effects

Is moving traumatic? Despite the fact that you might be making a positive change in your life by relocating somewhere you always wanted, you probably overheard the stories that moves are considered some of the most stressful life events. Luckily, it’s not all that bad, and you can learn some hacks that will help you reduce potential negative effects.

Couple fighting about cross country moving overlay
There are plenty of things you can do in order to make this life-changing event less traumatic

Relocating is traumatic because this process brings many changes, including changing your usual routines, a job or a school, losing contact with some important people, changing the lifestyle and environment you’re used to, and generally getting out of your comfort zone. Trauma might come as a consequence because you struggle to adapt to these major changes that happen all at once. Hiring professional movers and staying organized throughout the process can help you avoid negative outcomes.

Is Moving Traumatic? First, You Need to Understand the Difference Between Stress, Depression, and Emotional Trauma

First of all, you have to understand the difference between relocation stress and general stressful events and trauma. Stress is part of everyday life, and people are used to experiencing a couple of stressful events in a day without exercising huge emotional damage. The more stressful it gets, the more exhausted we might feel after using all our energy to adapt to discomfort and unusual situations.

Why Is Moving So Hard Emotionally?

Everyone has their personal limits, and this is what we call resilience or personal capacity for handling stress. When stressful events last for too long, and we’re no longer capable of dealing with them, this is when the trauma develops (in case of a move). 

Trauma, in general, can also be caused by one extremely stressful event that doesn’t have to last long. In the case of a move, you can observe the whole relocation process as a cause of trauma, but if you look at it more carefully, the trauma is caused by many smaller stressful events that all come together at the same time, leaving us traumatized. This can also lead to post-relocation depression when a person develops feelings of hopelessness and starts believing that things won’t get better. 

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Is Moving Considered Trauma? Relocating Frequently Is More Stressful Than Occasional Move

Like any other stressful event in life, relocation can be traumatic for some and only cause a slight amount of stress for others. No matter the fact, if you compare relocating to other stressful events such as the death of a loved one, which people describe as almost equally stressful, you might understand why some perceive this as trauma.

On the other hand, how stressful it will get depends on many factors. For example, if you’re experiencing a local move and move right across the street, you probably won’t experience trauma. On the other hand, if you are moving cross country and need to say goodbye to all of your friends and completely change your lifestyle, the chance that you’ll experience trauma grows significantly. 

Can Constantly Moving Cause Trauma? It’s Not Good for Your Mental Health

Constant relocation from house to house over time is definitely not the best way to protect your mental health – no matter if you’re a kid or an adult. Some studies show that kids who frequently relocated when they were young tend to experience mental health problems in adulthood. In case you’re not relocating alone, you would probably like to know what effect on your children this might have and take care of your whole family, not just your needs.

Studies also show that relocating with children that are five years old or younger isn’t very complicated. On the other hand, if they are six years old and start attending classes, additional problems might occur, so this is not the most recommended period for big and frequent changes. Kids in this age group crave routine and stability in order to stay happy and productive. It is suggested that if you’re relocating with children, just try to move during summer, so at least they don’t move during the school years and face an even bigger trauma. 

Is moving traumatic for adults? It can be, but adults whose job requires common relocation usually develop resilience and learn how to adapt to these changes easier. At some point, it can still lead to trauma if other unpleasant life events develop alongside the move.

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Is moving traumatic for kids? You can reduce their stress by following our tips

How to Manage Effects of Relocation?

Human beings always crave certain types of stability and comfort, so the best way to handle stressful situations is to stay organized. Feeling that you have important things sorted out will leave you without relocation anxiety and bring you peace, knowing that you’ll move to a new home safely without many problems. If, on the other hand, you continue living in chaos, don’t plan your move promptly, and don’t decide where to live or find a new job, you’ll probably end up traumatized from all the unnecessary problems. With our relocation guide, you’ll learn how to handle your move like a pro and avoid potential problems.

Plan Your Finances

Financial stability will definitely help you handle the relocation process efficiently, so you might want to start by planning your relocation budget and deciding how much money you need for this step. This is not as simple as it might seem. 

When you find enough reasons to move and decide what city you’re relocating to, feel free to start the house-hunting process. Once you find a new home, you will know how much money you need for it, but this is only the beginning. You also want to find out the cost of living in the chosen area. There are more than one websites where you can find all of the necessary information. 

For example, if you check Numbeo.com, you can easily find out estimated living costs, including different factors such as transportation, food, utilities, and real estate. You can also find differences between those who are living alone and those who are living with their families or friends. No matter what information you stumble upon, you’ll definitely feel more comfortable about what you can expect after getting there, as there will be fewer unpleasant surprises that might lead to discomfort and trauma.

Decide Where to Live

Deciding where to live is another serious task when relocating. The bigger change in the environment usually leads to distress, so this is why you need to consider many factors in order to make yourself comfortable when you move. For example, relocating from a small town to a big city usually causes major lifestyle differences. You will experience higher prices, more traffic jams and a generally more stressful lifestyle. You need to decide if you’re prepared for this before making any big changes. 

Once you figure out where you are going to live, you also want to find your dream home and look for something that won’t be too far away from your workplace. If you’re relocating with your loved one and planning to start a family, you might want to find some suburban area that’s suitable for children and offers good schools and kindergartens. In case you’re relocating with pets, you also want to look for a pet-friendly apartment and some area where you can comfortably walk your dog and enjoy living with them.

Find a Job Before Relocating

Relocating without a job might cause a certain unpleasant and stressful situation, so if you want to save yourself from it, you might as well want to find a job in advance. This is connected to previously mentioned things that will lead to comfort and stability. You’ll feel better overall and adjust more quickly if you have a stable workplace and regular income as soon as you move. If, on the other hand, you don’t have a job and try looking for one after you move, you might fail to find the right option, which will lead to financial losses and depression.

Keep in Touch With Your Friends and Meet New People

Your social network is essential and will definitely be an important part of everyday life once you move. If you’re conscious about your mental health, you’re aware that contact with others is important to keep us going forward and experiencing new things. In the beginning, it will be normal that you constantly call friends to talk about everything that happens. Even if this feels nice, don’t let it stop you from meeting new people. Building new relationships is important for living a happy and fulfilling life no matter where you are.

Contact One of the Best Cross Country Moving Companies to Help You Out and Save Your Mental Health

Another key to stress-free relocation is hiring a professional cross-country moving company – a trustworthy one, of course. You want to make sure that you don’t overlook some red flags and become a part of a relocation scam. Unfortunately, today’s market is full of potential scammers, so you have to learn what signs to look for and what to avoid. Always check if a company has a professional policy and:

  • An official website,
  • MC License,
  • Professional team of cross-country movers (trained and licensed),
  • Professional equipment,
  • Good reviews,
  • Reasonable rates.

These are some of the most important things to consider before hiring a professional long-distance moving company. If something about their policy seems out of place and you don’t feel comfortable relocating with this team, you can always look for another company that seems more trustworthy. Avoiding potentially negative experiences will definitely save you from relocation trauma.

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Avoid a negative experience by hiring a professional company

Declutter Before Relocation and Decide What to Relocate

Before making any deals with professional cross-country movers and choosing their long-distance moving services, you want to decide what to get rid of and what to move with you. Relocating with less fragile stuff and less furniture in general usually means that you’ll stress out less. This way, nothing important can get lost or broken, so you’ll automatically feel more comfortable. If you check out this decluttering tutorial, it will certainly be easier for you to organize everything in a short time.

Get Additional Relocation Insurance

Another way to feel safe and comfortable is to get additional relocation insurance. You will sleep comfortably at night knowing that even in the case of an accident, potential damage will be refunded to you by a trustworthy relocation company. This will help you avoid potential trauma if you lose some expensive possessions or something of great value breaks in transit. 

In case you don’t know how to pack fragile items on your own and need to relocate glasses and some other delicate possessions, it is always recommended to get professional packing services from long distance movers. This cross-country moving service will make your whole transition much smoother.

Get a Free Quote and Choose Needed Services Wisely

Before choosing any cross-country moving services, you also want to check the relocation company’s rates. Rates will depend on many factors, including the volume of your move, distance, and types of service you require. The good news is that you can always require a free quote to find out the estimated cost of your move.

Another important factor is the season you choose and the precise dates. For example, everyone suggests that relocating during winter might be more affordable, so this is a recommended period if you are planning to lower potential expenses. 

Follow Our Tips, and You’ll Avoid Negative Consequences When Relocating to a New Home

Sure, moves are stressful life events that come with various family lifestyle changes. The thing that makes them so traumatic is actually the fear of the unknown or the feeling that we might fail in our goals. If you want to avoid this negative scenario and possible consequences, you want to be well prepared for changes that await you.

Finding a good place for your new home and planning your finances to ensure financial stability for you and your family is a great way to start the preparation. Other things you want to plan are the relocation process itself – what you need to relocate and how you want to do it. Hiring professionals will undoubtedly reduce stress and help you avoid many relocation mistakes that might lead to a traumatic experience. 


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