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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 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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