A long-distance move can stress even the most chilled person alive. Most distance moves happen because of a job relocation. So when you add together the need to uproot from where you’ve been living, start living and working in a different and unfamiliar place and carry all your stuff with you (or do something with it), the result can strike a number of stress-inducing chords.
First, leaving friends, family and work colleagues behind and facing the possibility of knowing no one in your new location – in other words, being totally alone – can be frightening. Yes, you will meet work colleagues, and maybe you have a family member or friend in the new location, but it’ not like having all your BFFs around you.
Second, even while most Canadian cities are somewhat similar, laid out in a grid pattern of streets, and we all speak the same language, not knowing where to hang out, or find a good pizza, or know the best routes for biking, can all add up, especially if you choose the wrong location for any of them.
Third, whether you’re carrying your belongings with you or not, you’re not going to enjoy dealing with the headaches of moving them, selling them or otherwise finding a place for them.
But there are a few things you can do to help remove or at least reduce some of the stress that long-distance moves can trigger
If at all possible, try to take some time off for things other than the move itself. In particular, the best way to get acquainted is to actually go out and look around. The extra time will help you do that.
If you do manage to get free time, try to plan it before you move. Perhaps one day you can get acquainted with your neighbourhood, on another day you can check out different routes to work, or visit downtown, or go to the cinema, and so on. Google Maps, including the street view feature, is a great way to get somewhat acquainted with your new surroundings even before you arrive.
While you may not keep in touch with all your family and/or friends overly often, try to keep them informed of your moving plans and schedule. Not only will staying in touch help you deal with the change, it helps them too. And the new lines of communication will help after the move too.
So we could create an almost endless list of thing for a ‘long-distance move checklist’, but that isn’t really what this post is about. But we decided to choose one of those ‘checklist’ items to highlight an overall point.
Most people visit the grocery store, LCBO, or some other outlet in search of free empty boxes to use to pack for the move. Good idea, except it can stress you out in a number of ways.
First, you can end up driving all over town trying to find the right boxes. Second, you end up with a number of different-sized boxes that never seem to stack properly, or that you overload and strain yourself lifting, or that falls apart because, while it was the right size, it wasn’t built properly, or … – well, you get the idea.
The overall point is that, very often, trying to cut corners, or save a couple dollars, you end up actually increasing the stress. So, among other things that you might have a great shortcut for, buy proper moving boxes from your moving or storage company.
If you are moving for work, chances are high that you’re at least acquainted with someone in the new office. Don’t be afraid to ask them the favour of showing you around town, and/or the office, and/or anything else that will help speed-up your adjustment to your new surroundings.
If nothing else, moving to a new town is a great adventure. By taking steps to ease the stress or anxiety that the move can cause, you’ll help make it a more enjoyable adventure.