MOVING TIPS :
Move from relocation stress to growth and adventure
Ask, "Who am I? What do I need to be happy?"
you don't realize what you love until it's gone. Here are two
exercises to help.
Weekend Wrap-up: Each day for a week, write down two or
three things you did -- simple things like walking the dog or
having friends over or just driving to work. What did you do?
How did you feel? What do you wish were different? As you look
back over your entries, you will begin to uncover a pattern of
what you need to be happy.
Protected Witness: Imagine that you were in the wrong
place at the wrong time. To save your life, you've been inducted
into the Witness Protection Program. The US Marshal Service will
give you a new name, a new occupation and a new home. You are
supposed to cut all ties to the past.
Despite the danger, many people find they cannot bear to give
up golf, dogs, swimming in the ocean or exhibiting their artwork.
If the Bad Guys wanted to find you, where would they look? If
you're not sure, ask your friends. They'll know.
Now you can ask, "Will I be able to do what I love after
I've moved?" If you can say yes, you will probably be successful.
2. Hire professional
packers -- or be your own pro.
you pack, you open up the hidden places. Packing up the attic,
basement or messy kitchen drawer, will force confrontation with
a part of the self that has not been visited for years. Often
"I have" means saying "I am."
Professional packers do not make judgments. They do not sort
through your closets, sighing over the pants that won't fit anymore.
They pack everything.
People often say, "I wish we had taken that lamp (or bookcase
or chair) with us. I could really use it now."
Unless you are on a really tight budget, err on the side of taking
too much. There will probably be a Goodwill or a Salvation Army
in your new city.
If you pack your own household, follow the example of the pros.
Pack everything. Pack fast. And don't judge.
3. Pack an
emotional first aid kit.
Packing your best intentions isn't enough.
When you undertake a voyage into the unknown, you pack sunblock,
Band-Aids, and insect repellent, as well as the basic medications
for unexpected encounters with local food and water.
For your first six months, prepare an emotional first aid kit
to deal with stresses you are likely to encounter. Some items
you might include are:
- Coping phrases
to repeat when feeling frazzled:
'Let go and relax."
"I can deal with this."
"I face the future with confidence."
- Tapes of meditation
and visualization to help you calm down when you have a bout
- A book or a
tape of yoga exercises or some physical activity you enjoy.
- Favorite photos
of friends, family, places and pets.
- Phone numbers
of friends and family who can be called when you really need
to talk to a familiar voice:
someone to laugh with;
someone who will listen;
someone who just moved a year ago and can offer good advice
4. Honor your
unpack, play your favorite music and enjoy your favorite foods.
Arrange one room -or one corner of the room-to look familiar.
Some people create a ritual of settling in to make the new house
your own tugboat.
of a tugboat that guides an ocean liner out of the harbor. Ocean
liners are designed to move smoothly on the high seas and they
need special handling while they're close to shore. For the first
six months in your new home, create your own tugboat -- a temporary
identity that can be released with gratitude when you reach cruising
speed on the high seas.
The top deck is your creativity, your connection with air and
Creative activity will unfreeze your mental processes. Write
a journal entry or a novel, paint a picture or a sketch, stitch
a quilt, make a piece of jewelry.
The lower deck is your connection to the physical. Exercise gives
you confidence and energy. Don't be surprised if you feel less
homesick after a long walk, a good run or a challenging aerobics
6. Make new
friends by doing what you love.
Fill your life with activities that will be creative and fulfilling.
When you nurture yourself, you communicate strength and confidence
to others. If you are seen as vulnerable and needy, you will
attract negative people and negative experiences.
Remember what you promised yourself you'd do "after we've
moved." You may have promised yourself you'd get a dog or
take opera lessons. Don't wait.
By doing this while you're in transition you'll have more energy
and vitality rather than if you wait until you're "settled."
7. Be your
own best camp counselor.
counselors, boarding school directors and drill sergeants know:
If you fill the time, newcomers won't have time to be homesick.
Set up time to explore your new city.
Create a demanding schedule and stick to it. Map out your itinerary
for the first few weeks before you move so you'll begin to set
a structure to your days. By staying busy you'll give yourself
a chance to acclimate to your new home more quickly.
A walk around the lake.
A perfect cup of coffee in a nearby coffee shop.
A friendly face at the local hardware store.
Listen for the moments when you say, "I could get used to
9. Ask The
Big Move Question: Can I still be me?
interrupts identity. The secret to a successful move depends
on how you answer the question, "Can I still be me?"
To answer this question, write ten "I am" statements
about yourself -- anything from "I am a mother" to
"I am a dog-owner" to "I am friendly and outgoing."
Before you move, ask yourself, "How will this list change
after I move?" After you move, ask, "How has the list
changed? Am I pleasantly surprised?"
on an adventure.
it or not, many people love to move and describe their relocation
as a great adventure! I like to compare moving to time travel.
After the moving van has been loaded, you go to sleep in a bare
room. The next morning, you wake up to a world of exciting possibilities.
No matter what happens, you will find at least one pocket of
joy in your new life. Everyone I've interviewed said, "Even
when I was happy to move, there was always something I hated
to leave behind.
"And even when I dreaded moving, there was always something
wonderful that I had never expected."
From , Making the Big Move:
How to transform relocation into a creative life transition
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*