Research has shown that moving house is one of the most stressful life events, right up there with divorce, bereavement and losing one’s job. It’s capacity to cause distress is immense and often underestimated. It is no exaggeration to say it is one of the greatest stresses we can face in our lives.
Both buying and selling produce stress in different ways. There is a lot of fear involved; the fear of your sale falling through; the fear of losing the house you have fallen in love with. It all takes its toll. From the minute the For Sale board goes up outside your house, to the minute you put the key in the lock of your new home – moving house can be an incredibly stressful business.
The impact of stress on our health
Stress and health are closely linked. It is well known that stress can induce body-mind disorders. Stress triggers changes in our bodies and makes us more likely to get ill. It can also make physical or emotional problems we already have worse. It can result in:
- Dizzy spells
- trouble sleeping
- lack of energy
- lack of concentration
- eating too much or not at all
- higher risk of asthma and arthritis flare-ups
- muscle cramps
- stomach cramping
- stomach bloating
- skin problems
- weight gain or loss
- heart problems
- high blood pressure
- irritable bowel syndrome
- neck and/or back pain
- less sexual desire
- harder to get pregnant
- panic attacks
coping with stress
There are many things you can do to minimise the impact of stress on your body and your health during the whole moving process by looking after yourself.
- Make sure you have some early nights and good rest in the run up to your moving date.
- Eat a balanced diet to give your body everything it needs to stay healthy.
- Take a day off work, domestic chores, family and everything else that puts pressure on you. Spend the day doing only relaxing things that make you feel good
- If you start to feel things are getting on top of you, give yourself some breathing space – book yourself a massage or other relaxing treatment
- Talk to someone – meet up with a good friend or see a professional
- Let off steam in a way that causes no harm (shout, scream or hit a pillow)
- Practise slow breathing breathing right up from the bottom of your tummy
- Use relaxation techniques or go to a relaxation expert
If moving house is worsening an existing condition then maybe it is time to pay attention to it. This could be the time to take control and start to resolve any underlying health or psychological issues.
Treat yourself kindly and take the time and help you need to keep as relaxed and healthy as possible during this stressful but exciting time.