Psychologists rank the changing of one’s primary residence as a major cause of anxiety and stress, right up there with death, divorce, and the loss of one’s job. We humans are creatures of habit. We like to dig in our heels. We like to look forward to the same things when we wake up each morning. And, above all, we don’t like surprises.
Whether a relocation is voluntary, required for a job, or your kid used his superpowers at school again, makes little difference in our level of stress. A move across town can entail as much anxiety and stress as a move out of the country. Your key strategies in dealing with any life change are to maintain a resilient outlook, and to leave as little to chance as possible.
Here are some techniques that will make moving a less daunting event in your life.
Contact People Who Live in the New Location. Transferring to San Antonio for work? Contact the San Antonio branch of the company and enlist their help. Their intimate knowledge of the area will go a long way towards making your move a smooth one. You might even have dinner with one of your San Antonio colleagues when you and a spouse travel there to scout out the area.
Bring Your Interests and Passions to Your New Home. Let’s say you fell in love with Italy on your last vacation. If you plan to move to Atlanta, get hold of the folks at Ciancia, an Italian conversation club there. What a great way to make new friends! If your interests extend to business and you’ll be moving to Nashville, contact the folks at the Nashville Chamber of Commerce or one of the Rotary chapters there. Your interests and passions have always provided a platform for meeting others. Why should things be different just because you’ll be getting a new zip code?
Make Sure Your Living Times in the New Home and Old Home Overlap. Anything and everything can happen. Your new home may not be ready on time. You may have to fly back unexpectedly to your old home to take care of unfinished business. The mortgage or rent payment on your old residence will be a lot cheaper than a bill for a lot of nights in a motel.
Pay Attention to Details. So you think you go crazy now when you can’t find your alarm clock or favorite coffee mug? Try searching for them in your new home because you didn’t take the time to label your boxes. Oh, and need we remind you to take the trouble to wrap your breakables? Life is kinder to the well-organized.
Throw a Party to Meet Your New Neighbors — Sooner Rather Than Later. Of course you’re tired, and would rather delay meeting folks once everything’s in its place and the house is ship-shape. But you’re a social being, and new friends can make life a lot easier. Whether you’ve moved to a new county or a new country, you’ll be glad you reached out.
Remember — resilience is all about allowing for change — and then embracing rather than resisting it.