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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 January 21, 2020

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

    Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

    your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

      Why You Need a Vision

      Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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      How to Create Your Life Vision

      Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

      What Do You Want?

      The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

      It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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      Some tips to guide you:

      • Remember to ask why you want certain things
      • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
      • Give yourself permission to dream.
      • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
      • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

      Some questions to start your exploration:

      • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
      • What would you like to have more of in your life?
      • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
      • What are your secret passions and dreams?
      • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
      • What do you want your relationships to be like?
      • What qualities would you like to develop?
      • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
      • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
      • What would you most like to accomplish?
      • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

      It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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      What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

      Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

      A few prompts to get you started:

      • What will you have accomplished already?
      • How will you feel about yourself?
      • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
      • What does your ideal day look like?
      • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
      • What would you be doing?
      • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
      • How are you dressed?
      • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
      • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
      • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

      It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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      Plan Backwards

      It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

      • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
      • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
      • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
      • What important actions would you have had to take?
      • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
      • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
      • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
      • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
      • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

      Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

      It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

      Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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