Moving to a new home can be a very emotionally challenging time. Memories are swirling around as you leave the place you have called your home, and step into a new chapter of your live. In many cases, it is a grieving process that families and individuals go through, especially if you have been in your home for many years, raised children there, and made memories after memories.
Being aware that these emotional shifts may occur is the first step to prepare yourself for them. By educating yourself on things you can do to combat some of these emotions, you will be able to move through the downsizing process with confidence and be able to look to your new home with happiness and opportunity!
What kinds of emotions can I expect?
While there is no limit to the variety of emotions that someone can experience when downsizing, here are some you may feel…
What causes this emotional stress?
There are many elements of downsizing that cause these emotions to come out and cause frustration, sadness, and stress. Memories come to the front of our minds as we clear out rooms. The difficulty of leaving a place you have been in and made memories in can feel that much greater. Lastly, change can be a little scary at first! Stepping into the unknown, the next chapter of your life is bittersweet but exciting! We know there can be fear. You may wonder, will I be happy here? Will I make memories here too? Just remember every journey starts with a first step. Think one day at a time.
What are some tips to cope?
Here are a few things you can do to help manage and cope with these emotions.
- Create an action plan – What steps do you need to take before, during, and after the move? This will help you feel less overwhelmed.
- Only bring things that make you happy – bringing things with you that bring you joy will insure a positive environment in your new home!
- Donate the items you are not bringing with you – Whether you give some things to your kids, to charity, or even sell off some items, doing this will help you know that your items are bringing someone else joy and are being put to good use. This can help with any emotions of grieving memories.
- Stay socially connected! – It is VERY important to talk to your family, spouse, and friends about these emotions. Sharing your feelings with another person can lead to new insight we would have missed on our own. Remember, you are not alone! Odds are you know someone else who knows just what this process is like!
- Engage with your new community – Getting involved in the community where your new home is, is a great way to make new connections and build a loving and caring environment. Jump right in!
- Speak with your health care provider – If you notice that some of your emotions surrounding downsizing are impacting your day to day life in a negative way, it is a good idea to speak to your health care provider about some of your options. Mental health is EXTREMELY important and there is no shame in seeking out resources and help when it is needed!