Moving On: Reaching out

I looked around at the mess before me. No matter that I had three children  aged 13, 11, 9 at the time. No matter that my husband was working over fifty hours a week, and packing his office, and going out of town for his ministry job.And forget the fact that I had no family within 100 miles. Oh-and throw in two dogs and three cats and I was pushed to my limit trying to pack and clean the house on my own. 

Just then my phone rang and my friend Rene simply said,” I am on my way over with food, packing tape, and cleaning supplies.” And I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

We can’t move well without help. We need one another! If you neglect relationships , you will be carrying far more than furniture and clothes to your next home. You will carry anger, resentment, pain, and other unwanted stowaways. 

Here are a few things I have learned along the way that have helped me. I hope you find something useful for dealing with your move.

  1. Keep a list  A list of things that you need help with, items needed, etc. If a friend or family member asks how they can help, look at your list and let them.
  2. Reach out to others  Don’t be afraid to ask people to help you or recommend someone to you. During one move, I found a fabulous woman who professionally cleaned my house for $50 simply by asking others for  suggestions. That was worth its weight in gold. 
  3. Have a friend or two you can call on for emotional support  This is a toughie for me because of moving so much. But I have a few friends I have known for  many years from online homeschool and exercise groups. We email and text and lift one another up. It’s a true blessing.
  4. Communicate  If we aren’t honest with friends and family, things build up and we end up yelling over running out of bubble wrap. πŸ˜‰ Talk and listen…a lot. 
  5. Accept invitations or issue some yourself  It’s so easy to think you are too busy to go to dinner, a party, etc. Saying goodbye is vital to moving on after you have moved out

The last of the Moving On  series will look at what to do after you move and the dust settles. In the meantime, leave me you comments and suggestions for keeping your relationships strong during moving and stressful times. 

Moving On Part 2: Recharging Your Batteries

I love the word rejuvenation. It’s a fancy way of saying, “make sure you refresh and recharge yourself.” I think of this like a rechargeable battery. When the batteries get low in something, especially if that something is a TV remote, crankiness ensues. πŸ˜‰ So you take the batteries out, place them in the charger, and let them get fill back up to optimum level.  The same is true for people, especially when the stress of life and moving is added in.
I discussed rest first because it is the foundation for recharging in many ways. That’s because keeping up your energy for moving tasks means you must care for your body mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.

I want to highlight two parts of recharging yourself physically: Food and Fitness.

Hear me out. Being super busy often means putting your personal care in last place. We often end up running out for fast food, grabbing snacks from vending machines, going out for goodbye meals or parties, and drinking lots of sugary drinks for energy and caffeine. But doing that leads to big crashes.  Then you end up being someone who is more of a HARM than a HELP to your family and friends who are trying to help. Trust me on this one.

Which do you want to be: HARM-ful (Hungry, Angry, Resentful, Melancholy) or HELPful(Hopeful, Energetic, Long-lasting, Prepared)? Yeah, me too!

So here are a few quick tips regarding food and fitness I’ve learned the hard way that are now non-negotiable during a move. I hope they help you in dealing with stress, moves, or just living a busy life.

FOOD

  1. Water  Go ahead and get a bottle out and make sure you are drinking regularly. During the day prior to the move and the few days after, I splurge on store-bought water bottles so there are no excuses and no one gets dehydrated and cranky.
  2. Snacks  Make sure you have plenty of healthy things to grab on hand. Moving can cause you to put off eating and then get ravenous. Fruit, nuts, nut butters, veggies, and yogurt are easy to pack and save you from grabbing a candy bar or wasting time running out to the Golden Arches.  On moving day have a cooler of food handy at all times.
  3. Rule of Three  I make sure every meal or snack I put in my mouth contains a mix of carbohydrates, healthy fat, and protein. An apple with almond butter will sustain you far longer than an apple alone.  It’s a good rule to practice in daily life and makes food and food preparation simple and tasty.
  4. Limit Caffeine  This is a toughie but in the long run, one coffee per day is far better than sucking down tons of soda and coffee. Plus, the extra sugar will make you feel really tired. I have been there and done that.

 

FITNESS

Here is my 10-10-10 exercise plan that is non-negotiable for stressful, busy times. I promise you that if you expend some energy exercising, you will actually gain more energy.  It doesn’t make sense but just try it and see.

  1. Ten Minute Walk   Get out of the house! Go outside and walk. Vent, cry, express gratitude, or just be silent. This change of pace, scenery, and energy will make you feel so much better and your focus to tasks at hand will be sharper.
  2. Ten Minutes of Pilates  There is a reason I practice Pilates: it moves the body as it’s supposed to move and keeps me from excessive injury and strain. If it’s not your thing fine…but commit to ten minutes of your favorite movement.
  3. Ten Minutes of Stretching  While unwinding before bed, in front of the TV, or some other time, stretch your muscles. They will feel better and the stretching will bring you energy as you take the time to focus and breathe.
  4. Bonus: Ten Minute Break  Every hour, refocus for ten minutes or so. Stretch, walk, read, chat, etc. You need to change what you’re doing so you can come back to if feeling re-energized.

 

What are your tips and tricks to deal with a move, busyness, and stress? Let me know as I’d love to learn from you. If you try any of my tips be sure to tell me how they work for you.

 

 

Moving OnΒ 

Have you ever lost something you really loved? Were comfortable with? Enjoyed? You search in a frenzy over a period of time but never find your special item. What do you feel? Frustration, anger, grief?

After my oldest son, Wes, was born, I lost my engagement ring. I needed to have it resized and had put it off. It had been my husband’s grandmother’s ring. One day I noticed it was gone. I retraced my steps, used a metal detector I borrowed, took the pipe off my sink…but it had vanished. I was embarrassed, emotional, angry, and sad. I still think about that 21 years later with regret.

Moving is many things, but one big part that goes unrecognized is loss. You are in unfamiliar territory, grieving things that make no sense to you(like knowing how to get to the store, knowing where my stuff is, missing how my old kitchen was laid out, etc), and feeling a bit silly for how emotional you are. But all of that is normal. Above all, moving is an emotional experience. 

I have been a pastor’s wife for 22 years and after moving 10 times, I am facing yet another move as my husband changes careers. Guess what? I still hate moving. But I know that most of us experience it-either our own move or the move of a family member or friend. So I will be sharing four things you can do to help yourself move forward during a move.

Rest

Rest is defined as “cessation of work or movement in order to refresh oneself or recover strength”. In the middle of a move, and right after, I have discovered I need more rest than usual. There are many ways you can rest. A few of my favorites are:

  1. Sleep   Go to bed early or at least on time. Create rituals that feel good and encourage rest, like reading, a dark room, etc. Or take a nap if you can. You are equipped to handle everything better with rest.
  2. Warm Bath/Shower  Use nice products that make you feel good. I highly recommend Epsom salts as they relieve soreness and tension.
  3. Tea Time/Coffee Time I love iced, flavored teas and coffees. I brew over ice, sip, and read my Bible for a few minutes to reset my mind.
  4. Laugh  Watch something funny, take a walk down memory lane, watch a favorite show, spend time with friends or family. 
  5. Hobby Work   I love to read so I make sure I do that for at least a few minutes each day. 

How have you coped with a move? How do you relax? Leave a comment and let me know. Next time we’ll discuss your energy and how to keep it up during your move.