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Relocating With Grace: How to Move Without (Totally) Losing Your Mind

Relocating With Grace: How to Move Without (Totally) Losing Your Mind


    Moving is pretty awful.

    It’s one of those things where you quickly forget how awful it is…until you do it again. Kind of like childbirth (so I hear).

    You get settled into your cozy new place, and with a clear floor and hazy mind, you think, “That wasn’t so bad!”

    Yes it was. And you realize it as soon as you have to move again and the packing commences.

    That’s what I’ve been doing for the last few weeks – moving. I thought it wouldn’t be terrible…until I started packing up my closet. You know those Russian nesting dolls? It was like that. More stuff than I ever knew I had.

    Have you been here? Or are you one of those lucky folks that adores packing and unpacking? (I still have some boxes to go – drop me a line if this is you!)

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    Clearly, I do not like moving. Most people don’t. But, like many of life’s transitions, you don’t have to like something to get through it gracefully.

    In this busy process of moving, I’ve discovered a few keys to keeping most of your sanity:

    1. Drop the “shoulds”

    You know them – “I should be working out every day.” “I should get the entire kitchen packed today.” “I shouldn’t be eating out so much.”

    Maybe those things are true – but drop the should. Yes, it would be healthier for you to eat fresh food at home, but right now isn’t the time to guilt yourself with the “shoulds.”

    That’s what this is really about – stop guilting yourself. Cut yourself a little slack. Relax. Yes, my body is screaming for an apple and some crunches, but I’m not guilting myself about it. That only adds to the stress. Don’t make yourself feel bad.

    I’m not suggesting you make excuses, or go on a binge-fest free-for-all…but stop guilting yourself. Those things you “should” do will be do-able when your life isn’t flipped upside-down.

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    2. Don’t be afraid to stray from the routine

    You’d think routine would help when everything else changes, but I’ve found it to be more of a hindrance.

    For example, my routine is to work out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. During the move, I don’t need to do that – walking up and down stairs 20 times per day and carrying 30lb boxes is exercise enough! Had I insisted on sticking with that, I would’ve been twice as sore and twice as miserable.

    So be gentle with yourself – loosen your grip on that routine, if only for a week or two. You can pick it right back up where you left off.

    3. Don’t expect it to be stress-free

    Moving is stressful. It just is. No matter how gracefully you get through it, there will still be some stress. Accept this.

    You don’t have to like it, but accept it, and deal with the stress as best you can.

    Take a hot bath, vent to your cat and take as many naps as you want (good luck – I didn’t get a single nap during this move!)

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    4. Accept the uncertainty

    Maybe you don’t know where the nearest coffee shop is, or how the garbage stickers work – that’s okay.

    Maybe you’re packing those random kitchen gadgets and wondering where the hell you’ll put them – that’s okay.

    Moving brings with it a lot of uncertainty – again, you don’t have to like it, but accept it. Don’t stress yourself out over things you don’t know yet. It won’t help you know them any faster.

    5. Ask for help

    Don’t do it all yourself. Call friends, family, and ideally, movers. If you can get someone else to move the big stuff, your back will thank you.

    6. De-junk as you go (and when you think you’re done, de-junk some more)

    That shirt you haven’t worn in 2 years? The nail polish that’s kind of goopy but maybe still usable? Throw. Them. Away.

    The less you have to bring with, the less you have to unpack. You’ll thank yourself when you’re trying to organize the new place.

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    And now, you get to learn from my mistakes. Some things I wish I’d done:

    7. Keep healthy snacks around

    Too much crap food left me feeling less than my best. Instead of draining my body of nutrients, I wish I’d kept some healthy snacks around. Easy stuff: fruit, nuts, etc.

    8. De-Junk more

    I’m not kidding about this one. As we’re getting down to the last boxes, it’s clear to me that we didn’t throw enough away. I especially wish I’d gone through my clothes – again, less to organize.

    Moving is never a fun process…but with these tips, you can get through it with most of your sanity. Good luck!

    Photo: Couple on Unmade Sofa Bed courtesy of Shutterstock.

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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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