Self-Care Practices To Reduce Stress While Moving

Walking for exercise self care during moving.

Moving is one of life’s most stressful events. Self-care can play a vital role in reducing stress and anxiety before, during, and after moving day. It doesn't have to be extravagant, expensive or time consuming - it can be as simple as eating healthy foods, chatting with a friend, or planning tasks ahead of time. To make this process easier, follow our guide for self-care tips for moving house.

  • Exercise: Getting out of the house and engaging in physical activities can be extremely beneficial for relieving the stress that comes with moving. There are many different activities that you could participate in such as jogging, biking, lifting weights, yoga and many more. Try to find what works best for you and get moving.   

  • Journaling: Many people enjoy journaling because it helps them think clearly. Journaling is a great resource for planning out the logistics of your move or taking notes on where you think all of your things will go. Try listing things you are thankful for or what you are looking forward to for the day or week. Writing positive affirmations about yourself can also improve your mood and help you cope with moving stress.

  • Food: When preparing for a move it seems rational to eat what is left in your fridge to avoid food waste. Although this tactic is effective, you can’t forget to nourish your body with healthy foods, as well as foods that bring you joy. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to an occasional comfort dish. Eating your daily dose of fruits and vegetables will give your body the energy it needs to be fully present and energized for your move.

  • Ask for assistance: Moving isn’t usually a one person operation. Whether you reach out to a friend to assist you in packing or call your aunt to borrow her pickup truck, asking for help from others will lighten the load when moving day arrives.


For most people, less clutter equals less stress. If you have been in your current home awhile, you probably have an excess of stuff that is taking up space and you wouldn’t mind parting with. There’s no time like the present to embrace your inner Marie Kondo and declutter your closet or home. A task like this can sometimes be overwhelming, setting an allotted amount of time aside for daily organization of the items listed below can help to ease the workload.

  • Clothes

  • Books

  • Papers

  • Sentimental

Getting rid of extraneous items ahead of time will ease the burden of your move. By approaching organization well in advance, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. As for disregarded items, you can get rid of your extra stuff by holding a garage sale, or donating to a thrift store. In addition to decluttering, using a pre-moving checklist to stay organized on tasks and avoid procrastination will make for a much simpler move.

Moving Checklist

  • Forward medical records and transfer prescriptions: For long-distance and cross-country moves, you will need to find a new doctor and pharmacy. Talk to your current providers and ask that your medical records and prescriptions be forwarded.

  • Examine the floor plan: Knowing the floor plan of your new home beforehand can allow you plan out your decorations, measure your furniture, and help you to visualize how everything will fit into your new home.

  • Arrange parking for the moving truck: Moving trucks are not small, they need a great deal of room to be able to fit near or in front of your home, as well as allow space for movers to load large items into the truck. Make sure the driver will have a secure place to park when moving day comes.

  • Schedule painting and repairs: If your new home needs to be painted make arrangements for this prior to moving your belongings into the home. Having this job scheduled ahead of time will help you avoid stress later.  

  • Request vacation: Moving is not usually a weekend operation. You will most likely need time off to complete the move, so request vacation time before life gets chaotic.

  • Take inventory. Keeping track of all your belongings is very important. Make lists or take photos of all your possessions to make sure you don’t lose anything. Using a label maker to label your boxes could also be beneficial.

  • Shop for a great moving company. The right mover can make all the difference, so compare and contrast moving quotes until you find the best fit for you·

  • Start packing. Gather a variety of different size moving boxes and start packing up your possessions. Packing items that are not used often is a great place to start. Once these items are all packed up you can continue to pack more and more in the days leading up to your move.

  • Hire a dumpster or schedule disposal. Moving out can generate lots of trash, so make sure you are covered. Contact your local trash hauler and arrange for a special pickup. You may also want to rent a dumpster if you have lots to dispose of.

  • Make plans for your valuables. If you have jewelry, artwork or other valuables, make sure they are properly insured, and that the movers know about them.

  • Cats and dogs: Make sure your pets will have a safe place to stay while moving.Whether it be leaving your fur babies in a kennel or with a friend or relative. Having a secure place for them to stay will help reduce your stress.

  • Confirm everything. No matter how many times you have confirmed your moving day plans, one more confirmation won’t hurt. Knowing everything is in place will ease moving anxiety and cause less stress.

How to Cope with Relocation Depression

Now that you have officially moved, the relocation depression may be kicking in. Relocation depression is common. With a magnitude of boxes to unpack while trying to settle into your new city it can sometimes be difficult to stay positive. If you’re in a funk after moving, try these self-care tips:

  • Explore the city. Getting out of the house and seeing what your new city has to offer is essential. You can walk, ride your bike or even try out public transportation.  Walk Score has great resources for discovering walkable areas in your neighborhood.

  • Make new friends: A great way to start making new friends is to introduce yourself to the people around you. Your neighbors and coworkers are a great place to start. Attend happy hours, get to know everyone, and ask lots of questions. You will make new friends in no time!

  • Call old friends: Keep in touch with your old friends. You may not see them as often, but don't forget to  keep them updated with your new life in a new city.

  • Try something new. Taking up a new hobby can help strengthen your identity and help you find your niche. Try signing up for a dance or yoga class, joining a gym, club or adult sports league, trying all the local hikes and much more. There are so many options and you don't have to limit yourself to just one.

Of course, all the self-care in the world can’t replace a medical professional or therapist. If you are in crisis, call or text the national crisis hotlines.

Moving is stressful for many reasons, and it’s easy to let self-care fade, but this is truly the time you need it most. Be kind to yourself and stick to your self-care routine. Whether you are moving into your first home, embarking on a cross-country move while changing jobs, moving into your dream house or moving into retirement, a little self-care can go a long way.

Guest Author Bio: Jennifer Karami is a writer at Redfin, a technology-enabled real estate brokerage. Redfin’s mission is to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor.


When we think of self care, we normally think of the daily stressors like work, relationship, finance and family — not necessarily some of life’s big moments like moving. Moving can be a big deal and it can cause stress from many different angles. We talk about the different types of stress with our fitness retreat guests and often times moving comes up. Whether your moving experience is happening because of something positive or negative, there’s bound to be a host of emotions that go along with it. Staying active, keeping up with your routine, having a plan and getting assistance are 4 of the biggest keys to keeping stress at bay.

Need help with managing stress or the stress of moving?

Health & Wellness coaching - Try our health and wellness to help you find balance within your lifestyle routine.

Fitness Retreats: If you want a total body de-stressor, join us for one of our fitness vacations after your move to reboot and renew!

Online Personal Training & Flexibility: Train with us from anywhere! We will develop a personalized plan for you.

If you have questions about this blog post, please feel free to comment or ask questions in the comment section below.

Good luck with self care during your moving experience! Best, Margot Rutigliano + The Vita Vie Retreat Team

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