We’ve all heard about high stressors in life, and relocating is one of the big ones. If your relocation includes starting another job, it can create even greater stress. You’re on a learning curve for the work itself, under the scrutiny of coworkers and bosses, and typically slow in obtaining your work computer, Blackberry, intranet access…that list can go on and on.
While you were planning the move, did you have to sell your house or ease out of your Lease Agreement? Are you purchasing a new home? Renting or buying, you still have to find that next adorable place to live. Searching for a new home starts out as fun, right? Then it tanks.
And finally, none of us can get around this, moving means you separate from your community and join a whole new one. You’re the proverbial new kid in school. I hope you’re pretty, smart, or really good at sports.
Stressed just reading this? I’m not surprised. Someone relocating gets this trifecta all at once: job change, house change, community change. Yeah, it’s a mind-blower.
So what do you do after the move? One study (found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024949) says within all this change, we look for what’s familiar, like national chain stores. Remember when you thought that shopping plaza was an eyesore? For people in the grips of relo, those eyesores present welcoming invites. Ah, there is a Ruby Tuesday near our new neighborhood, thank goodness. Whether we took ourselves to that restaurant that many times before doesn’t matter. Go now. It’s a stress reducer to see its familiar facade. That’s why national chains profit better in locations where people are transient and tend to relocate. Read the abstract, link above.
Meanwhile, purge purge purge and feel cathartic. Purge during the pack out; purge when you open those boxes again. Donate (thrift shops, hospitals, women’s centers, houses of worship) and toss (dumpster, dump, your trashcans, neighbor that you loathe’s trashcan). Downsizing actually feels good, and it reduces stress. We can’t deny it (probably): we have too much stuff. So get rid of what you haven’t used or worn in two years. Yep, toss it out.
Another good thing to be aware of is maintaining your usual regimen. Walk away from those boxes to keep up with your routine yoga, exercise, and afternoon tea (beer or wine?). Take breaks. They are immensely restorative.
Take walks around your neighborhood. Smile. Get out of the house. Remind yourself of this: everyone who moves goes through what you’re going through. The process won’t destroy us. And newness is exciting.
Remake yourself if you want. Call your friends and family. I have a friend I call just to ask her if I’m still okay. Another friend and I often connect to remind one or the other that we are still pretty. Then we laugh. The stress lines eventually smooth out.