young woman standing and looking out a window

Facing the Emotional Impact of PCS

When it is time to move on to your next station, it’s normal to have a lot of emotions associated with your upcoming move. Uprooting yourself, saying goodbye to friends, and navigating the logistics of a move every emotion from excitement to sadness. Exploring different options to help you handle these emotions can be beneficial to your family and your mental health.

While one of the greatest perks of military life is seeing the world, the emotional impact of moving can be challenging. I was happy, looking forward to our adventure and future, but I was also anxious and sad. I would be leaving my family, my friends, my job, and my home. When I started experiencing these emotions, I knew that it was important for me to face them head-on because this is not the first time, I would have to make one of these moves. These are some of the things I found that can be done to help ease the emotional transition of moving.

Start by acknowledging that how you are feeling is normal. We make connections, plant roots, and adapt to our environments. We get attached, and that makes leaving hard. Knowing this and accepting how you feel is a first step to processing your move.

Take time to grieve for the people and things you will miss. We are PCSing soon, so this one hits home particularly hard for me. I cried my eyes out when it became official. Give yourself the space and time to be sad, if that’s what you need. Let the frustration and/or tears come. Find something to put the energy into, like a workout or a journaling session. Just don’t hold it in.

Try to focus on the positives of the move and where you are moving to. Moving is an opportunity to write a new chapter in your book, one that involves new friends, jobs, and a new home. Is the place you are moving to somewhere you’ve never been? What cool things are there to do? Who else do you know who might be going there? There are so many positive things that can come of a PCS!

Lastly, make the most of your time left in your old home. Spend time with the people that you love while you are finishing out your posting. Even though it can feel like an impossibly busy period of your life, you will not regret meeting up with your friends before you go. Make the time! Go to the playdate, get the pedicures, have the dinners. You will be so happy you did.

Transitions can be hard, but they can also be beautiful in so many ways. They are opportunities to grow, know ourselves more, and be truly grateful not only for what was and for what will be. Moving is part of our lives. Embrace it and all that comes with it!

Kelly Bojan
Written By Kelly Bojan
Army Spouse

Kelly is a Milspouse who enjoys the many adventures of military life. Her husband has been in the Active Guard Reserve for the past eight years.

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