Any life transition can come with an unhealthy dose of stress. And when you feel overwhelmed, you might find that performing necessary tasks becomes nearly impossible. When you’re going through a major move, this kind of knee-jerk reaction is expected; unfortunately, it also comes when you need to be on the top of your game.  Between finding a new house, packing up your life into neat little boxes, and managing kids and pets, anyone can suffer from the deleterious effects of stress. Even if you’re excited about the big move, it’s only natural to feel sad at the life you’re leaving behind and nervous for what the future has to bring.  If you’re about to go through a major move, don’t worry; here are some of the best ways to manage your stress during this important transition:

1. Remember that stress is natural and, at times, even good for you. 

There are two primary types of stress: good stress and bad stress. Most of us think of bad stress since we often remember the devastating effects of stressful situations. When you’re in the middle of a big move, this bad stress can make every obstacle seem like an insurmountable wall which you cannot hope to overcome. Luckily, there’s also good stress to balance it out.  Eustress is the good type of stress. This is the mixture of anxiety and/or excitement one might feel when you’re about to enter a new job or lining up at the starting line before a big race. This stress can encourage you to work harder and do better. While it isn’t always easy to recognize good stressors, many people are able to hone their optimism regarding stress through hobbies. That’s why engaging in your hobbies and habits are essential to perform during the midst of your big move. While it might be hard to pull yourself away from organizing and cleaning, encouraging habits that promote healthy stress can help you convince yourself that you’re being more productive.

2. Talk yourself into feeling excited.

Did you know the symptoms of anxiety and stress are similar to the symptoms of excitement? Butterflies in your tummy, sweaty palms, maybe even a minimal appetite are all side effects that you might experience whether you’re coping with anxiety or excitement. Why not try convincing yourself that your anxiety is actually excitement?  After all, a major life move comes with its fair share of excitement. More than 40 million Americans will feel the pressure from a big move every year. There will be plenty of new opportunities for you and your family to explore, even when things seem overwhelming. Instead of falling apart during these times of duress, however, telling yourself that you’re excited can work to your advantage. Of course, this doesn’t always work when you’re coping with chronic stress. But for those instances of acute stress, a little extra effort to convince yourself that you’re excited can stop you from spiraling. 

3. Plan with a purpose.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the things you need to do, organizing your duties into neat little boxes is just as helpful as organizing your home goods during a move. This can help the perpetual procrastinator actually get tasks done while it can make the nervous Nelly feel a little more at ease during this transitional time. However, you can’t simply write down everything that needs to get done — planning with intent is the best way to achieve your goals with little stress.  There are many different ways to approach planning your move. Some people like to go in chronological order while others prefer to plan room by room or object by object. Help determine which one you are by writing down a few different lists and seeing which one works the best for your family. No matter how you plan, writing down your goals and crossing off tasks when they’re completed can deliver a much-needed dose of dopamine to a stressed-out mind. 

4. Take the load off by hiring a moving company.

Many families become stressed because of the strain and difficulty associated with the action of moving. Between transporting heavy boxes, finding the right moving materials, and renting a van, it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed.  Luckily, hiring a moving company can put this stress to rest. Professional movers are trained to handle your delicate goods and move your home with peak efficiency. With their help, you won’t need to worry about broken goods, scratched up furniture, or hours spent breaking your back over heavy items. Stress less with the help of professionals. 

5. Fuel your body with the right stuff.

Moving is often stressful since it becomes difficult to manage your diet and food (hello, pizza nights). Unfortunately, fueling your body with heavy carbohydrates, artificial preservatives, and fast food will only add to your stress levels.  According to the U.K. Mental Health Foundation, there’s increasing evidence that your diet directly impacts your mood. On top of that, they note that eating healthier can improve your mood in the long run. Instead of neglecting the needs of your body during this stressful time, be sure to keep yourself hydrated and healthy. This will make it easier to fend off anxiety when these stressful situations arise.  Moving can be exciting but it can also put the stress on. When you want help managing your stress and anxiety during a big move, try relying on these tips to help you thrive. 

*Casey Ribek is a digital marketing specialist and moving extraordinaire with Colonial Van Lines, a moving company with more than 50 highly lauded years of experience across the nation.