Recently, I moved. Before I left my old place, I got rid of 90 percent of my stuff. So, in some ways, my moving experience wasn’t typical. But, I found, I did make a few common mistakes along the way. If I had it to do over again, there are a few pieces of moving advice I wish I’d had. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when you’re relocating and looking to maintain your sanity. 1. Remember Where You’re Going. Looking back, it’s clear that I got so focused on moving, getting rid of stuff, and getting out of there that I forgot to focus equally on where I was going, what I’d need to do once I got there, and how I might feel post-move. That was a big mistake. I’ve moved plenty of times in my life, but for some reason this time around I failed to recall how stressful moving can be. You get to unload and reinvent your life, but you also leave behind your friends and everything that is familiar. Be aware that moving is only half the battle, and you should anticipate and plan for how you’ll feel in your new place.
2. Take Care of Yourself. Sure, it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how packing and moving can completely distract you from, well, you. For example, if I don’t get a massage and acupuncture every once in a while, I start to get a little … batty. And if I don’t do yoga? Suffice to say, I have referred to yoga as “God’s Prozac.” In my new place, I didn’t have those contacts in place, and it was hard to find a yoga studio I liked in the first few weeks. Moving is exhausting, mentally and physically, and when I didn’t keep up with self-care, I ran myself into the ground. Find out where you can go to keep up your self-maintenance schedule before you get there to make the transition smoother.
3. Don’t Get Lost. My car situation has been in flux since I moved, but, man, do I wish I’d had a GPS. If I had a dollar for every time I got lost on these streets, I’d have $100. When you already feel a little “lost” in a new area, having a robot guide can help you navigate your way — literally and metaphorically.
4. Slow Down, Girl. In the first few weeks, I was a whirling dervish. Trying to get everything in order, working, and exploring my new locale was something I took on at a mad pace. In reality, there was no rush. I could have taken my time, giving myself a chance to get acclimated, and no one would have been keeping track. If you keep your goals to a minimum, you will fare better in the long run, rather than running yourself ragged trying to do everything at lightning speed.
5. Get Out There. I’m still working on this one, but I think my first instinct, after I got a little overwhelmed, was to hibernate. I felt more “safe” in my new home than I did getting lost out and about in my new surroundings. So, while I’ve slowed my pace down some, I’m on a steady mission to put myself out there and not retreat into the one place where I feel more comfortable. For me, this involves hanging out with new people, trying out new places to eat, and getting myself to yoga class.
What advice do you have for those looking to stay happy, healthy, and sane while moving?