Feeling Stuck? Try These Strategies to Help You Move On

According to a recent SpareFoot moving survey, 66 percent of people have – at some point in their lives – felt “stuck” in a place they didn’t like, simply because moving was too much of a hassle.

The results of our survey also illuminated some key findings around the concept of being “stuck” for younger individuals versus older ones. Despite just starting out in their individual lives and careers younger generations are more likely to feel stuck than older Americans.

74 percent of respondents aged 18 – 34 reported feeling stuck in a place because moving was too much of a hassle, the same percentage of  those aged 35-45 also reported feeling stuck in a place they didn’t like. Compare that to 66 percent of respondents aged 45 – 54, 56 percent of respondents aged 55 – 64, and 42 percent of respondents aged 65 and up.

Additionally, our survey found that 49 percent of people say there has been a time they wanted to move out due to a bad roommate, but stayed because moving was a bigger hassle. This number was also higher among younger individuals.

If you’re feeling stuck and unable to move, here are some insights and advice from psychologists, life coaches, and people who have gotten unstuck and moved away. Get motivated to GO and change your situation for the better!

Trust that a Change Will Make Things Better

“People need to trust that if they are not happy, they can make a change and things can be better. Just be forewarned that the first six months in a new place are hard and just part of the transition. But, once things start looking familiar, you’ve settled into your new job, and you’ve started meeting new people, then your new place should start feeling like home to you. I’ve moved numerous times throughout my life, and each time has been different and exciting. I still needed time to grieve the loss of my ‘old’ life and ‘old’ community so that I could embrace my ‘new’ life and ‘new’ community.”

Heidi McBain, MA, LMFT, LPC, RPT

Take a Break From Routines

  • It’s all about perspective. “In my opinion, perspective is the single greatest determining factor in overcoming your feeling of being trapped and stuck. By simply changing your perspective, you’d be surprised at what you can overcome. Try to focus on positivity instead of negativity. Psychologists often see this pattern of feeling stuck and constant negativity in people suffering from depression. Practice hopefulness instead of feeling helpless. Focus on moving forward instead of thinking about the past.”
  • Take (limited) risk. “Yes, this may sound cliche but it’s true. At some point in life, you need to take some risks. Once you realize that nothing is set in stone, your fear of risk taking will drop. Perhaps not completely but it could be enough to get you to explore new things and recognize new opportunities.”
  • Shake up your routine. “People oftentimes get stuck in a daily routine. While routines are great, people are not machines. You need to live, explore, dream! Try and change up your routine. Introduce physical activity into your life. Meet new people. Take a hike.”

Stacey Leibowitz, licensed psychologist

Unburden Yourself and Dream Big

  • Purge all your stuff. “Half the reason people feel like they can’t move is because of the sheer amount of things they’d have to move. But how much of that stuff is really needed? Once you’ve gone through and gotten rid of endless unnecessary junk, moving looks like a much easier task. If you need help with this, try the ditch-or-donate method.”
  • Find your dream place. “This doesn’t have to be an actual house or apartment so much as a city or neighborhood you’d love to live. If your stuck-ness has more to do with your entire area and wanting to leave, you need to motivate yourself – and finding the place you’d love to move to is a great way to do that.”
  • Take a (real) vacation. “Tell your boss you won’t be checking email or calls for a few days, lock up your house, and get out of town. Traveling gives you serious perspective (and might even help you find a place you’d prefer to live). By ensuring you’re not occupying yourself with worries about work, you can take time to actually enjoy yourself – and motivate yourself to leave.”

-Miranda, Dolly.com

Try Something New and Different

  • Go somewhere new. “A change of scenery, even for a few hours or a few days can work wonders in getting a change in perspective. I like to go to the beach because I feel that I am able to think clearly when I’m near a large body of water.”
  • Talk to a therapist. “Sometimes all you need to get unstuck is a change in perspective and talking to someone can help. A therapist can give you insight from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know you well and it can be helpful.”
  • Try something new. “Pick up a new hobby or take a cool class that you’ve never never taken before. Be open to new opportunities and don’t be afraid to experiment.”
  • Start a journal. “Start writing about where you want to be in life. Be specific about writing out what you would want to be if anything and everything was possible. Dream big and then start breaking it down into smaller steps that you can do on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.”

Alisha Powell, PhD, LCSW

Don’t Be Afraid to Reinvent Yourself

“One of the biggest barriers that people have is the fear of the unknown. As a coach, it is up to me to walk my clients through every possible “worst case scenario” to the point where they see that there is nothing that is the End of The World!! We can always reinvent ourselves.”

Carolyn Maul, Life Coach

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