Moving house is considered one of life’s most stressful experiences. Whether you’re moving next door or across the country, it involves change, uncertainty about the future and packing a LOT of boxes. It’s hard on both your mind and your body. Here are some ways you attempt to stay healthy when moving house.
1. Plan meals and snacks in advance
Just because you have to pack your entire kitchen up doesn’t mean you need to rely on takeaway for weeks on end. It just requires a little forward planning.
In the weeks leading up to the big move, start to cook bigger batches of food and freeze some meals. Think meals that freeze and reheat well like bolognaise, curries and stews. Then when packing your kitchen, leave a few essentials like microwavable bowls, cutlery and cups. This way, you can ensure you’ve got some healthy meals in the freezer for those days leading up to the move.
You might need to rely on takeaway for a night or two but try to choose healthy options. And if you want to get a big greasy pizza on the night after the move, then you’ll deserve it and won’t feel so guilty!
It’s also vital to stock up on healthy snacks for moving day. Think mixed nuts, dried or fresh fruit, sliced veggies and cut up sandwiches. Any nutrient-dense snack that will keep you going on a long day.
2. Try to enjoy the packing process
Ok, stop laughing. Yes, packing can be awful (particularly if you’re like me and throw things in a spare cupboard to deal with later). However, there are some ways you can enjoy it.
First, load your phone with podcasts or your favourite tunes so you distract yourself while you work. The Teacher’s Pet and This American Life are my go-to faves at the moment.
It’s also important to get organised – write a list in advance of what you need to do so the act of packing is process work. Make sure you have three boxes – one for taking to the new house, one for donating items and the third for throwing things in the bin.
Use the opportunity to throw out some of those clothes that don’t fit anymore or your kids’ toys they don’t play with. Even this process could be good for your health, according to the Japanese ‘organising consultant’ Marie Kondo. She advises that if your objects don’t ‘spark joy’ then discard them. According to her website, this approach “places great importance on being mindful, introspective and optimistic.” Once you’ve made those decisions, you’ll start your new home with only the possessions that make you happy.
3. Wear comfortable clothes
It might seem obvious but when you’re going to be squatting, sitting on the floor and lifting boxes, you should ensure you’re wearing appropriate clothing and footwear. And according to this case study in a UK medical journal, you should perhaps forgo your skinny jeans. A 35-year-old Adelaide woman actually ended up in hospital after helping her friend move house while wearing tight, skinny jeans.
She’d spent hours squatting while packing cupboards and said her jeans felt increasingly uncomfortable as the day wore on. That night, she was experiencing numbness and found it difficult to walk. By the time she went to the hospital, her calves were so swollen that her jeans had to be cut off her. Investigations revealed that she had damaged muscle and nerve fibres in her lower legs.
After a few days in hospital, she was able to walk unassisted again. But it’s definitely a lesson that wearing loose, comfortable clothing is an unexpected way to stay healthy while moving house.
4. Know when to ask for help
I have a friend who finds packing completely overwhelming. She finds it difficult to throw things away so the whole process becomes a big trigger for her anxiety.
After a few painful moves, she now knows to ask for help when packing difficult rooms like the kitchen. A group of us will go over and get ruthless. We throw away all the broken things and talk to her rationally about what she does and doesn’t need.
Not only does it speed up the whole packing process but it helps her stay healthy and happy.
5. Make sure you take some time for yourself
Moving house can seem all-consuming so it’s important to give yourself a break, literally. Moving can be quite physical work so make sure you schedule in times throughout the day to stop work. Do some stretches, lie on the floor or simply sit and rest, whatever your body needs at the time.
You should also make sure you keep up some sort of exercise routine even if it’s just a light walk at the end of the day. After a full day of leaning over boxes or repetitive movements of putting things in bookshelves, your body will need to move around and unwind.
Over to you… do you have any other tips that have helped you stay healthy while moving house?
Guest blog post written by Caitlin Wright.
Caitlin is an SEO Copywriter and Freelance Journalist who specialises in writing in the health/medical, lifestyle and parenting spaces. To read more of her work, visit https://caitlinwright.com.au