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The 5 Emotional Stages of Moving

The 5 Emotional Stages of Moving

When we finally made the decision to move, it wasn’t easy. Oh sure, in my previous post, I mentioned that I got excited after being sad, but the truth is, there are SO many emotions that have run through me that depending on the minute, you might get a different answer.

Moving is so exciting but it’s filled with SO many other emotions thanks to going away parties with friends, family and coworkers, job interviews and the not-so-thrilling adventure that is apartment hunting.

Beyond the stress of logistics, the start of something new brings with it conflicting feelings of excitement and anxiety. In these last few weeks, I’ve had ALL the emotions. The list that follows shows the emotional roller coaster that I’ve experienced as a direct result of our impending move to Vancouver.

1. Excitement
When The Mister got on board with moving, I got REALLY excited. When I found a job, it was even MORE exciting. I am SO excited to see old friends, be near the mountains and to find new-to-us spots in our new city. It’s always exciting to start a new chapter in your life!

2. Anxiety
A week later, I found myself riding on the subway home from work and I couldn’t breathe. My throat was closing, and my hands and legs were shaking so bad that I could barely stand up, and I had no idea why. Anxiety had become a long-lost friend that I forgot I had, thanks to being so comfortable in Toronto. Thoughts of panic kept running through my head. The things I was excited about, were the things that made me terrified. Starting a new chapter is terrifying, it means I am ending another chapter that I am 100% comfortable with, but we all know life is WAY more exciting when you break out of your comfort zone.

3. Doubt
Anxiety goes hand-in-hand with doubt. SO many doubts kept running through my head. “Can I do this?”, “Is this the right move for us?” and “How are we going to move ALL of our stuff across the country”. “How will I leave my family, knowing I’ll miss out on all the fun things and all the important things like watching my niece grow up.” Those are just a couple of the questions that run through my head at any given moment. Staying where I am is easy, but I know the rewards of doing something outside of my comfort zone is SO worth it.

4. Sadness
I expected sadness to creep in when I was already there. Call me naive, but I assumed that I’d be so busy with the logistics of moving that I could block out most of the emotions until I’d moved to Vancouver but with a series of going away parties, I’m confronted by these very emotions WAY too often. I know it’s okay to be sad, but it doesn’t make it very fun when I have things to do to get ready for the move.

5. Acceptance
We’ve booked our plane tickets, we’ve got jobs, there is no going back. This is where I am right now as I write this. I’m not moving to a foreign country, I have friends in Vancouver and my family will visit often. I am starting a new job and that’s always fun and exciting. I’ve done this before. I’ve got this.

Toronto, will always have a place in our heart, but we’re ready for a new adventure.

So tell me, have you ever done a big move? How did you cope? Did you go through as many emotions as I did? Any tips and tricks for beating homesickness?

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10 thoughts on “The 5 Emotional Stages of Moving

  1. yay!!! i must have missed that you got a job there – what a relief and super exciting i’m sure! big moves are also scary with the unknown but how great that you already know people in your new city – that will make it much easier. also, thank goodness for plane rides! it has always helped me feel less anxiety and sadness when i had a trip to look forward to (or family coming to visit!)

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    1. I am hoping that since the plane ride is quick compared to a long drive across Canada that it’ll be better for homesickness. No turning back halfway! I even have a few distant family members living in Vancouver(my mom’s cousin and his family and a lady who’s the daughter of my aunts best friend that I grew up around, to help make the transition easier too). I’m also hoping to just have SO many adventures in Vancouver that homesickness isn’t a regular occurrence.

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  2. What a crazy adventure! I can’t even imagine. We’ve never moved across the country- just across town. We’re considering moving again (in town) and even thinking about it gives me anxiety! Haha!

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    1. Moving across town is still SO much work, Louise that I don’t blame you for your anxiety! It’s why we stayed in our current place for so long because the thought of just a move across the city wasn’t worth the hassle! Go big or go home, I say!

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  3. FOR REAL this is so true and right on with the emotional rollercoaster that happens! Just hang in there because there are some pretty awesome (and more positive) emotions that happen once you’ve moved 🙂

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  4. We moved across the United States (from California to Rhode Island) and traded one coast for another. It truly was an emotional roller coaster. We literally got back from our honeymoon and one week later shipped our belongings across the nation and went on a very long road trip. As if planning a wedding and getting married wasn’t enough, we moved to a foreign coast with no family or friends. My husband had a job but I didn’t when we got here. We lived for two weeks with no furniture and went from sunny, beautiful 75 degree weather to harsh, northern winters and sweltering, humid summers. We went through quite a few emotions but we found four ways to cope with these major changes. 1) Have an adventurous spirit – saturate yourself with as much of the culture and sites as possible! Stress goes away when your having fun, plus it helps you get your barrings. 2) Find friends stat. Sign up for Meet Ups, join clubs that share your personal interests or (what worked for us) find a church with people that are the same age range. 3) Find food that’s familiar! For me, Southern West Coast food is so different from Northern East Coast. I found a taco shop who was run by people who were from the same city as me. I bonded instantly and found some comfort food. 4) Remember that you’re not doing this alone. Be thankful you have your husband by your side rather than making the trek by yourself.

    My husband and I are two years into living out here in Rhode Island and we both agree, it made our marriage so much stronger. Good luck and feel free to message me if you need a little encouragement. You guys can do this and it’s going to be an adventure of a lifetime! Plus Vancouver is B-E-A-utiful 🙂

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    1. Oh wow, Stacey! That’s an insane that you moved across the country right after getting married!

      Thank you so much for your tips! They are going to come in handy, I’m sure!

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  5. Yes this is so so so true. I hate moving. As much as I’m ready for this stage in our lives to be over and to move away from The Ohio State University, I dread the actual move.

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