Did you know that a study in the UK concluded that moving to a new home can actually be more stressful than going through a divorce? Either British people have especially low-key divorces, or moving is more stressful than we expect. And if you’re feeling the pains of moving day, you are far from alone. Canada’s National Defence has even started the “Seamless Canada” program to make moving across the country easier for their oft-moving armed forces. One family called moving from New Brunswick to Quebec “worse than moving to a foreign country”. Even when the move is complete, adjusting to your new living space can take time. That’s why the best time to re-center and get some relief from your overactive brain is the very first night in your new home.
Moving Day Jitters: Feeling Centered That First Night
To get centered after a big move, Here are some tips to start off right.
- Introduce yourself to your neighbors. Before you turn in for the night, seek out your neighbors, even for just a quick introduction. If you’re really feeling anxious, this can wait until the next morning. Leave a quick, nice note if nobody is around. Neighbors are potential friends and support, yet so many people never take advantage of this neighborly resource. In fact, many people never get to know their neighbors at all. Around 35.1 million Americans move every year, and over a quarter of Canada’s 35 million citizens consider moving every five years. That’s a lot of people who never get the chance to meet their neighbors. If you get really lucky, you’ll have neighbors who have your back during an emergency, like this woman whose neighbor saved her from a fire in her home.
- Scrub your bathtub/shower and then take a hot soak. If you’re going to prioritize any cleaning the first hectic day in your new home, make it your bathtub or shower first and foremost — and then yourself. At the end of moving day, nothing feels better than climbing into blankets feeling freshened up and knowing your shower is already clean for when you need it next. Studies have shown that soaking in hot water can help you fall asleep faster, so you’ll get that crucial sleep you need for work or unpacking the next day. Use some bubble bath or body wash, or layer on some nice lotion or essential oils afterwards for a luxurious aromatherapy effect.
- Unpack just one or two easy boxes. This works even better if you planned a first box to unpack while you were packing. Choose a box or two to unpack, one with especially useful things that make you feel happy. Home feels more like home if you have all your toiletries set up, your coziest blanket, and a few family pictures hanging around. Yes, these things can hang out on empty shelves, other boxes, or the floor. A couple home-y details won’t interfere with your other boxes and don’t need to be perfectly placed.
Lastly, take a good long walk through your new space. Appreciate it, look for flaws you want to fix, and dream up ideas for layout and design. Consider this a sort of meditation of your new home. Feeling familiar with its nooks and crannies and thinking on its future helps settle you and makes you excited after a draining day moving your belongings. Finally, go to sleep! It’s okay to pack it in early on moving day and get those seven to nine recommended hours of sleep. Your boxes (and sanity) will still be there in the morning.
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