Fresh Living

Fresh Living

Moving? How to Get Past Cold Feet

cold-feet.jpgWell, it’s happened.  It’s two weeks until we move into our new house, and I officially have developed cold feet.  Have we made a terrible mistake?  What were we thinking?  How could we have gone through with this?  So goes the thought-spiral.

I have a theory about why moving inherently involves a cold-feet stage.  Here it is–moving is a zillion tiny decisions all crammed inside a giant, life-altering decision.  And inside a human brain, those all conspire to result in self-doubt and second-guessing.


The giant, life-altering decision is of course when you say, “yes, we’ll take it!”  You make your offer, it’s accepted, and you’re thrilled.  All your thinking is going in the direction of “this is our home, we belong in this house.”  But then the zillion tiny decisions start.  What colors to paint the walls?  Which furniture to keep, which to replace?  Which cable company to choose?  How to introduce yourself to the neighbors?  What kind of drawer pulls to put on the cabinets?  Where to put the TV?

Don’t get me wrong – it feels good to be decisive and answer each of these questions.  But eventually, you make one too many successive decisions, and ye olde self-confidence starts to crumble.  The self-questioning starts with one of the tiny decisions — should we have gotten a straight sofa instead of a sectional? — and quickly creeps up the ladder until it reaches the top and you say, “What have we done?”


Since I’m a big believer in the “the only way out is through” theory of crisis management, I’ve put together some tips for coping with cold feet – useful if you’re about to move, about to get married, about to change jobs, or about to order a cheeseburger.

4 Ways to Get Past Cold Feet

1. Write twin letters.  Compose a love letter to your object of feet-chill.  Celebrate all of the reasons you fell in love with him/her/it in the first place.  List everything positive you can think of, and nothing negative.  Now write a missive.  Vent all of your worries about the situation, and try to make a case against moving forward.  I’ll bet you can’t come up with a single true deal-breaker, but giving your worries some air will feel good.


2. Get an objective opinion.  In the case of a house, show it to a friend who hasn’t seen it yet.  Watch their body language as they encounter it for the first time, and ask for their honest opinion.  Unless they faint in disgust, and I highly doubt they will, you can chalk up your cold feet to an emotional blip.

3. Visualize a joyful future.  Close your eyes and take some deep breaths.  Picture yourself in the house/relationship/etc and picture yourself fully content.  See yourself laughing, feel the grass beneath your feet, see the meal you’re sharing with loved ones, whatever happy situation you hope for yourself.  Repeat as needed.

4. Take a break.  Go to the movies.  Go for a run.  Walk away from the thought-spiral and refresh your spirit before you plunge back into the deep end.   Don’t let your worries build up on each other, give each panic-session time to dissipate and release before you head back into the fray.  And don’t forget to breathe.

Do you have more cold-feet cures?  Do share!

(image via:

  • cherie

    Thanks Holly-this write up could not have come at a better time for me.We are in the process of moving and have put up the property for sale and I am having all the usual misgivings about the decision.Foremost in my thoughts is the resistance to change and fear whether we will be able to adjust to the new place, new environment and new neighbors.I have already weighed the pros and cons of moving and convinced myself that there are more advantages toward the change.The fears are all imaginary and I am positive that we will be able to adjust to our new home(which is still in my imaginations) but until then…………….
    Your writeup will help me make the change faster.Thanks again

  • Therese Borchard

    This is fantastic stuff. I’m linking to it tomorrow. Funny, I freak too!

  • ted ledbetter

    .. the real first for me is to clear my head so that i can think clearly … to do this means not eating any sticky or salty foods while my body eliminates those bad foods from my head … after all, i can’t think positive thoughts if my head is feeling bad … ’nuff said

  • Bob

    Thank you so very much for sharing this. Visualization is so often the way in which I strive to get over hurdles that I come up to. The act of just trying to picture the challenge before me generally puts my mind at ease.

  • AA

    Thank you! I needed that as my mind started to spiral on finalizing a new job and relocation!

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  • Jade

    This was so helpful and sweet. I am going through this exact situation right now (just moved, feeling like I’m being suffocated) and this lightened it up a bit for me. Thank you!

  • Ed

    I will be moving with my family from California to Connecticut this summer. We’ve been planning for this move for over two years now and have always looked forward to it. Now that the For Sale sign is in front of our home we are all getting a little newvous and having doubts. Your article helps put things in perspective and validates that having cold feet may be natural before any big change. Thanks!

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