Relocation can bring out the worst feelings in people. You pack your stuff and box them up, and you’re hit with nostalgia, longing for the good old days as you sort through old attic stuff and clean up your two-year old’s wall writings. Sometimes, you’re overcome by sheer sadness just thinking about how you can no longer be ten steps away from your weekend drinking buddies-neighbours. These are all valid emotions, the ones you talk about openly, in your goodbye parties. What’s often invalidated, however, are the fears, the feeling of being afraid. No one readily admits that they’re anxious about a move. It’s shameful. But what happens is you go on with your relocation with bottled-up feelings, which can explode any minute.
What do you do then? Name your fears. As you pack your belongings, identify what makes you afraid about this life decision.
Fear of the Unknown
The greater portion of people’s anxieties in moving is not knowing what will happen to them after they move. Will my neighbours be warm and kind? Will I enjoy living in that new community? Will I be able to do my job well there? In times where the unknown seems overwhelming, look to what’s known. You worry about how your future social circles will turn out, but you know that you’re secure in your family’s relationship. You worry about how you can adjust to your new job, but you know for a fact that you’ve built your skills and knowledge for years already. Take an inventory of what you’re sure amid the uncertainties. Keep reminding yourself of it. Put it in your notes. Write it in your journal. This way, you can go back to these truths easily whenever insecurity crops up.
Fear of the Wrong Choice
Sometimes, the worry comes from thinking and overthinking about the most dreadful what-if: ‘what if I make a fatal mistake?’ What if it isn’t the right time to buy this house? What if moving across states will be bad for the kids? What if I hire a too-expensive moving company? Believe it or not, these what-ifs can be good. They make you extra careful about your decisions. They help ensure that you think through your financial decisions about buying a home or your options for professional interstate movers. Melbourne-based psychologists say that a little pessimism helps people better cope with the worst scenarios and sometimes even avoid it. This means whenever thoughts of possible wrong choices pop in your head, use that in making your moving prep game plan stronger. Allow that to move you to draw up plan A, B, C and D.
Fear of Loss
When you move, you’re giving something up. For instance, your former home or the neighbours you’ve been with for years. Aside from these, you may also feel like you’re losing a certain status or reputation in the community, a fun pastime, or perhaps conveniences. So you get anxious that you may no longer be able to play your favourite sport or drop by a park whenever you want to because the community you’re moving into doesn’t have the facilities. But whenever you feel like you’re giving something up, remember that you’re also getting something new. Yes, you may no longer play golf, but you may probably explore fishing or boating in your new neighbourhood. You may not have your me-time at the park, but you may experience it while people watching at the local cafe. The principle is, focus on what’s ahead of you, instead of what’s behind. Gains over the losses.
What’s Your Fear?
Again, it’s okay to be anxious about moving homes. It’s a big life decision, after all. But don’t let the feeling paralyse you. Name it, yes, but choose to move forward.