Give yourself a pat on the back if, after a long decision-making process, you finally have decided to move to a smaller home or apartment that has the updated amenities you’ve long been dreaming about.
Now that you’ve decided to move, thinking about what you need to do before moving day can be nerve-wracking. If the thought of deciding what to keep and what to give away or toss is keeping you up at night, anyone who has been through the process can easily empathize.
Once you’ve chosen a moving company and have started to make hard decisions about what to keep when you sort through all your belongings, you may be counting down the days until the big move with great trepidation.
If that describes your dilemma, take some comfort in knowing that many people are in the same boat. As millions of people grow older, many are downsizing to reflect their changing lifestyles.
And while they are making this transition most people find that moving is one of life’s most anxiety producing experiences.
Why de-stressing matters
But be careful. If you constantly feel like you’re under pressure, that stressful lifestyle can affect your immune system. Many studies have discovered that a personal stress level is directly linked to well-being and daily health. Stress is simply not healthy. Not only can it lower the immune system response to illness it can increase blood pressure, lower productivity and introduce a menu of other maladies we have all experienced from time to time.
People who have chronic stress have a weaker defense system against pathogens that cause illness, such as the common cold.
To make matters worse, if you become ill from being stressed and overwhelmed by your upcoming moving day, the move will only be more difficult. Try to manage the ‘what ifs’ and stop stress before it becomes an issue.
Manage your Stress Before it Manages You
How do you cope with the stress of keeping everything going forward and up to date? One word: triage. The more you do the more you know that you can’t tackle everything at once. When it comes time to move, that way of life is ever more apparent. Our lives are busy enough without adding the stress of deconstructing our home, packing boxes and reassembling it again in unfamiliar territory.
Triage means prioritization. So make sure the biggest challenges (and usually the most stressful) are taken care of before moving so you can ‘move on’ to less important concerns.
Tips for moving on
Start planning early. Include family members in the planning process. Give yourself time to sort the details with enough time for the unexpected to come up. It always does.
Get the family ready. Moving is traumatic for adults and children alike. Help them see the benefits of change. It often helps, even at young ages, to involve children or grandchildren in the move. This often helps relieve an anxious mind. It is also worth mentioning that while moving is a change, it does not mean that everything will change.
Reduce! Moving is a great time to reduce and minimize your unneeded stuff. We all have “junk” that needs sorting. Less to pack means less to unpack. Look at moving as an opportunity to get rid of clutter and reduce your stress now and the next time you move.
Checklists work. A big move is a complicated event, with many variables and puzzle pieces to reassemble. Being organized will go a long way to helping you minimize your stress. The more details that are “up in the air”, the more stress you will have. A detailed checklist will be of great benefit for keeping your move running smooth and efficiently.
Stay positive. If you realize that stress is just part of moving, you’ll have a better chance of reducing stress to manageable levels. Everyone hates moving. Understand that change is a necessary part of life. Stay positive and help turn problems into solutions, and stress into mere bumps in the road.