One of the reasons it’s been a little quiet on RJ.com lately is because of the fact that I’m in the middle of organising another relocation. It’s not one I was anticipating and it’s all been happening very quickly, which is why an array of emotions have been floating through my body from shock, to excitement, to sadness, to awe.
No matter how often you move (I’ve moved 4 times in the last 2 years alone!) , the process of moving still always creates change. Relocating is exciting. There are new places to explore, new lifestyles to test, new people to meet and new experiences to look forward to.
When a move comes at you suddenly and unexpectedly, however, you’re forced to quickly manoeuvre away from habit and shift yourself into high gear with very little preparation, which can make moving quite disconcerting too.
Currently being in the process of such a move, I thought I’d share some personal thoughts on how to cope in times when you might be stuck somewhere between euphoria and anxiety and unsure about what to do about it. Keep reading and see if you agree.
1. Try not to make any rash decisions
Regardless of how excited you are about the move, one of the most important things to do is to keep a clear head. Dance around for joy, squeal with excitement or cry your eyes out to get the excess energy out by all means, but when it comes to making the big decisions (i.e. finding a new place, handing in your notice, deciding on your relationships etc.) you will need to make sure that you know what you’re doing. Making uninformed decisions during a big move can otherwise end up costing you a lot of excess time, money, and sanity in the long run!
2. Talk to (many) people
Even though you may need to keep a move under wraps for a while in some places (i.e. you current workplace), it’s really important to be able to talk your move through with somebody and preferably a number of somebodies, to get a balanced view on what this move could mean to your future. This will help kick start the process of getting yourself psychologically ready for the move, even if the time to do so is limited.
3. Contact your acquaintances
If you know any people in or around the new place you are going to, regardless of how loose the connection, make contact with them to let them know you’re moving. Having a solid network of people around you is what often makes you feel at home in a place, even if you only have one person you can turn to in the beginning, it makes the transition to a new place so much easier, as they’ll have first hand experiences from which you can draw to navigate your new waters.
4. Find and make new acquaintances
In case you don’t know anybody in the new place, make sure you look up what options there are for meeting people once you get there. Find a local Meetup group, Couchsurfing meeting, book club, fitness centre, pub or whatever kind of place you enjoy going to and then make sure you attend those meetings and places once you’ve made the move. If you’re ambitious you could even reach out to the community before you leave your old city and announce your arrival to make plans to meet before you’ve even made it out of town!
5. Sort out the basics
If at all possible, try to sort out the basics before your moving date. That means tying up loose ends back home (i.e. getting someone to take over your lease, sorting out bank accounts, saying goodbye to friends etc.) and figuring out a place to stay, finding a new job if necessary and making sure you will be able to get around by car or via public transport in your new place. The more you can arrange before you move, the less you’ll have to sort out once you’ve actually moved, which means you’ll have more time to devote to actually settling in once you get there.
6. And finally….
…take your time.
Moving is a big step and it causes shocks to the system that are big and small. If you’re moving to a new country, culture shock can be a big one. If you’re moving to a new town your imminent surroundings and the loss of your established networks can be another factor.
Change happens quickly, but adaptation can take more time, so give yourself that time and just keep learning and adjusting and taking each day as it comes. Eat well, sleep well and maintain a positive attitude and in no time at all you’ll be all settled in and ready to face the world brave, refreshed and supported once again.