Moving isn’t easy. In fact, it’s been touted as one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. But, most of us do it at least a few times in our lives, whether it’s moving out on our own for the first time, getting a bigger home for a family, or relocating for work.
While moving can be fun, the stress can definitely take its toll, even contributing to anxious thoughts. Thankfully, there are things you can do to ease the transition and manage your mental health — like journaling.
Journaling is a fantastic way to reduce stress, calm anxiety, and keep yourself focused on the present. When you’re going through the moving process, utilizing this powerful tool to navigate the challenges and opportunities will not only make things easier for you now, but
but you’ll have something to look back on that can help you feel understood and empowered in the future.
You don’t have to be an avid writer to start a journal, and there’s really no right way to do it. If you’re not sure how to get started, that’s okay. Let’s dig into how you can harness the power of journaling during a move, and what you can do to make the most of the experience.
The Freedom of Letting Go
One of the reasons why moving can be so stressful is the uncertainty behind it. That’s especially true if you’re moving somewhere new for a job. Job relocation is often exciting and comes with incredible opportunities. But, it also might mean you’re leaving everything you know behind — including family members, friends, and a community you’re used to.
Some of the best ways to prepare yourself for moving to a new location include researching the area ahead of time, preparing yourself for the emotional impact, and preparing your friends and family so you can maintain your support network even when you’re far away.
You can integrate those suggestions with journaling to help manage your emotions and express yourself in ways you might not be able to otherwise. Journaling gives you the opportunity to explore your fears and dive deeper into your uncertainties. You can also write down your expectations, hopes, and dreams for your career and your future. Most importantly, it can help you let go of the things you might be holding onto too tightly, so you can feel more confident about taking the next step in your career.
If you’re still having a hard time letting go of the things you’re familiar with, try some of the following prompts to further explore your emotions:
- Why am I finding it so hard to move on?
- How would letting go really make me feel?
- What is one thing I lose sleep over?
- What will I gain from this?
- What are five things that make me happy?
Once you start writing about your emotions, you’ll find that it’s easier to keep going. Sometimes, simply getting things out on paper can make you feel better about letting go and more excited about starting something new.
Staying Mindful in the Moment
One of the worst parts about moving is the uncertainty that comes with it. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, there are plenty of “what ifs” that can plague you. Worrying about what you’re leaving behind or feeling nervous about what to expect in the future can trigger your anxiety and make it difficult to stay focused.
That can lead to even more stress, since moving requires a lot of focus. You’ll want things to be organized, well-planned, and executed properly. When you’re so anxious that you can’t think straight, mistakes are more likely to be made. Because money can be tight during a move you could be stressed about your budget. There are many ways to save money during your move, such as finding the least expensive car insurance and minimizing restaurant meals. But if you find yourself worrying about money all the time, it could make it harder to make the right choices.
Journaling is a great way to keep yourself focused on the present and to be more mindful. When you use it as a tool for coping with stress and anxiety, you’ll find that it can pull you out of those anxious thoughts. If you want to use journaling to help you become more mindful, try opening up each entry by writing about your surroundings. What do you see, smell, hear, and feel? What’s going on inside you? What’s happening around you at that very moment? That will help to set the tone for your writing and keep you focused on the present.
You can certainly write about your fears and uncertainties when it comes to the future, but keep in mind where you are now. Journaling will help to keep you grounded there, so your thoughts don’t wander down an anxious path that’s hard to get away from.
Opening Yourself Up to New Beginnings
At the end of the day, moving is an exciting experience that offers new beginnings and opportunities. Even if you’re moving for work, it’s not just an opportunity for career growth, but for personal growth, as well.
First, even if you have to move to a specific location for work, you have options when it comes to the type of home you choose. You’ll need to keep the basics in mind, like your budget, the type of home you want, your commute, etc. But, it’s a fresh start. Once you find a home that fits your needs and wants, you can decorate and style it however you see fit. It’s yours, and it’s a step forward.
Because you’re getting a new start somewhere, you can incorporate journaling into your growth opportunities. Try focusing on prompts like:
- What are my goals for this new location?
- Where do I want to be in five years?
- How can I create a healthy space for myself?
- What do I want to pursue?
When you take the time to write about these things, you’ll not only hone in on your expectations and goals, but you’ll be holding yourself more accountable. You’ll be more excited about stepping forward and growing. The best part, though, is that one day you’ll be able to look back on those entries and see how far you’ve come.
A journal can serve as a constant companion throughout the moving process, or with any major life change. It will keep you grounded no matter how chaotic things around you might feel. If you’ve never journaled before but you’re already feeling stressed about an upcoming move, now is the time to pick one up and start writing.
Author bio: Miles Oliver is an independent writer with a background in business and passion for psychology, news, and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He has lived and traveled all over the United States and continues to expand his awareness and experiences. When he is not writing, he is most likely mountain biking or kicking back with a cup of tea.
Journaling Power Revolution Series