After being displaced by a fire in December 2014 and moving around to 5-6 locations plus dealing with other unexpected curveballs that life tends to throw and now have an even bigger move coming up (we’re headed to SF, y’all!), you learn a little bit about how and how not to deal with chaos.
As a newly minted and now-seasoned expert on moving and transitions, here’s what I’ve found to be helpful in getting a good start on that fresh start. FYI, these will not make chaos go away... but they will help you keep your head on and keep you from pulling out your hair in distress. Your head and your hair are very important, so we want you to keep those.
Have a quiet moment. When you’re in the midst of chaos and stress, this tip will sound really scary if it doesn’t already. I’m not talking about just sitting still and closing your eyes. I’m talking about enjoying coffee while watching the sunset or sunrise. Unplugging from social media for a while. Read a book in solitude. Stick your hands in a pot of soil and feel the coolness of it. Something awesome happens when you vastly limit your surrounding stimuli... I don’t know what it’s called but I find that I look at the tasks I return to with fresh eyes and do not feel as daunted. Your body needs to take breaks – we were not made to go, go, go. Don’t be a robot. Relish quiet moments and allow yourself to have peace.
Continue to have fun. You’re at your most vulnerable when you’re submerged in stress, in a constant state of worry, and handling it all by yourself. Do not let these things win, dear friends. Step away for a bit and come back to it refreshed and ready to conquer! I believe that humans need laughter and social interaction to get through the bumpy roads in life. You know the encouraging and wise folks in your life – reconnect with them the old-school way! Pick up the phone and make a coffee date. Go to the arcade and play ski-ball as if it was an Olympic sport. Head to the beach and splash around. Those awesome paint and drink wine classes... do one and pretend you’re Michelangelo. And I suggest doing these things with someone because you’re more likely to go if you have a pal with you to add more fun to fun.
Toss out stuff. Simply, the more stuff you have the more stress you’ll experience. I recommend reading up on the Konmari method. The principle is: if it doesn’t give you joy, you can live without it. This principle stands regardless of whether your transition involves moving or not. There is such a thing as a healthy attachment to objects of sentimental value. But if you haven’t looked at it in years and have done just as well without it, you can let go. I am guilty of not following this principle as well as I would want, but I feel that working towards it helps.
BONUS common sense tip: Wear shoes when you move things. In short, I had a liiiiiittle mishap where I forgot to take off my flip flops and put on shoes before I attempted to move a few things past a door that I did not expect to be so heavy and fast-swinging. A trip to the urgent care center is probably not what you need on top of everything else...