Any life transition brings fear of the unknown, and moving ranks high among major life events. The emotional impact of moving home, whether domestically or abroad, is one of the most stressful situations we can experience. Some find the transition after relocating easier than others.
Here are some steps you can take toward emotional well-being and a positive outcome:
1. Spend time planning for the move. Make lists of how you want the move to go, what you need to do before and after, and set intentions for the best possible outcome. This will prepare you internally for unexpected events during the process. Also, note who will carry out those tasks and start delegating.
2. Ask for help. This is the time to rely on family, friends and even colleagues for support. It’s important to articulate and discuss any anger, fear, sadness or doubt that you and your family experience. This is especially important if you are relocating with children. Set aside some time to include the kids in the planning stages before the move and ask them to verbalize their vision of the new home.
3. Acknowledge your feelings. Recognize that you will feel sad leaving behind familiar people, places and your home. Anticipating the inevitable emotions – both positive and negative – can help you manage the challenging ones when they do arise. Take the time to say goodbye to friends and family for closure.
4. Maintain self-care during stressful times. Self-care is especially important for women, who tend to handle more details of a move while managing work, children, pets and family members. Often, self-care takes a back seat to everything that needs to be juggled. Self-care should be the top priority during this transition for emotional stability for the whole family.
5. Focus on the present moment. It’s easy to get distracted and start thinking about the past and what the future will hold. Try to slow down and focus on the tasks at hand. Taking a moment to stop and take a break can often reset your thoughts to the present.
It’s important to note that everything valuable – people, experiences, place – are memories that travel with us. In reality, you are not leaving your friends and neighbors, but extending your friendship group as you meet new people in your new community.
Think about the bigger picture and why the move is important. Life transitions come with new opportunities to grow as a person. Focusing on self-care and the benefits of the move will empower you to maintain balance during this transition.
Written by Cathy Heyne, GMS-T, Managing Director