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Make Your Overseas Move Easy With These 4 Steps

Make Your Overseas Move Easy With These 4 Steps

Whether you’re looking to move for work, studying in another country, or even retiring abroad, moving overseas can be a difficult task. Like any challenge, though, it can be broken down into bite-sized chunks and made more manageable. Let’s do that together for your overseas move. Here are the four steps you’ll need to take.

1. Before you do anything

Before you do anything else, you need to figure out where you’re going to move and what that means for you and your lifestyle. Likely the biggest change that will impact you is going to be changes in the cost of living. Here’s a good international cost of living calculator to help you figure out what’s going to change.

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If you play around with it a bit, you’ll note that not all factors in the cost of living change equally. In some parts of the world food is more expensive but health costs are much lower. In others, housing is very expensive, but robust public transportation makes getting around a lot cheaper. Not all changes will have a huge impact on you, but since housing often represents such a large part of our budgets, it’s good to plan on sticking to the 30% rule when planning for housing. That is, the most you should plan on spending on rent or mortgage payments is 30% of your monthly income. If you make $5,000 a month (or the equivalent in your host country), you should plan on spending at most $1,500 on housing. Keep this in mind when accounting for fluctuating housing prices in different parts of the world.

2. Before you move

So you know where you’re going, either through corporate assignment or your own decision-making. What do you need to do before you leave? One lesser-known step to packing up that so many people seem to forget about is cleaning! People usually think of cleaning as “OK, I’ve moved everything out, now I’ll clean up so that I get my full security deposit back.”

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Wrong! Think of it this way instead: moving out of a clean and organized house is so much easier than trying to pack a jumbled mess away. A house that goes into boxes organized comes out of them organized, making it worthwhile to clean before you move out.

This is also a good time to take inventory. The process itself will help you to declutter and figure out what you really need to take with you and what’s just weighing you down. Plus, your things will likely change hands quite a lot on their way to another country, so it’s good to keep a list of important items in case something goes missing along the way.

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3. While you’re moving

There isn’t too much to worry about here and not much that you can do if things go wrong, so it’s probably best to sit back and enjoy the flight. Take a break from all the work you did packing and preparing for your move (and if you worked hard on that, you really won’t have anything to worry about on your way). If there’s one thing that you should have on you at all times, though, it’s a folder with your vaccination records and other medical records that might be useful to foreign doctors if you fall ill during your trip.

4. After the move

Congratulations! You’re ready to make your way in a new country, but before you do, make sure that the things you didn’t bring with you find a good home. Places like Goodwill will take furniture and clothing at collection sites and charities like Move for Hunger will come by your old house and collect non-perishable food items that you’ve left out for them.

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These are my tips for making an international move. Let me know where you’re headed!

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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