How to reduce the stress of moving house

Anyone who’s ever undertaken a house move will agree it’s one of the most challenging life events, both physically and emotionally, that anyone can go through. In a recent poll, two thirds of people voted moving house top of their stress list, with it triggering more anxiety than relationship breakdowns, divorce and starting a new job.

“It’s one of life’s most stressful experiences, and it’s because it involves having to cope with change,” explains Nicky Lidbetter, chief executive of charity Anxiety UK. “Moving house represents a transition in life, it’s about change and unfamiliarity and for many people that causes stress and anxiety. Most of us like familiarity, routine and order. When you’re moving, you have none of those. Plus it causes a ripple effect of change throughout your life. You’re not just changing your home and getting to know the new one, you might be in a new area, you have to find new schools for your children, take on a new commute to work, find a new GP and dentist.”

She says that if you feel stressed or anxious, that’s perfectly normal. “It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s an understandable reaction,” says Ms Lidbetter. “The lack of order, the uncertainty and upheaval that surrounds a move can trigger underlying mental health conditions such as anxiety, OCD and depression.”

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