Monday, October 28, 2013

Moving Home? 10 Ways to Calm Your Fears And Feel Positive.

A friend from abroad is packing up her home and sent me this message on my Facebook page today.......(Including the icons!)

  • Dear Gilly, 
    Please find calming words for me, as I pack up to move house!!! I spent the afternoon tidying my desk of Stuff. I came across an album of photos from 2000. I hope, I know what we are doing.....

    As I thought  about how best to reply, I reflected upon what had helped our family as we moved from continent to continent over a five year period. I came up with 10 suggestions to calm and soothe in many situations that require transition including packing up your home......Here's my answer and the list. 

  • Gilly Bayes Cannon
    Dear M ....It's SO hard to pack up your life and move-Many memories are stored in the stuff you are sifting through and the fabric of your home. 

    1.Be kind to yourself as you do this. Don't beat yourself up about the amount of clutter or the fact you haven't tackled it until now. Drink copious cups of .....( insert your preference!). Listen to good music and take small steps as you conquer each job.
    Remember your memories can't be taken from you, even if you are leaving the home that has many of them in it

    2. Break the tasks down into small parts. Moving house or experiencing any kind of transition can easily feel overwhelming. So take each job - sorting the office, packing the kitchen, clearing the attic and divide each of those tasks into smaller ones, labeling boxes as you go. 
    Tackling the office includes: -
    clearing the desk
    giving away books
    sorting files etc. 
    Treat each completed task as an accomplishment and one less thing, left to do.

    3.Take photos of the rooms and the outside of your house if you need to. Wander in to each space and spend a little time appreciating the memories created there, if it helps.

    4.Sit with your emotions and listen to them. Allow yourself to feel them and accept them.

    • 5. Remind yourself why you are making this move and remember the rationale you had for your decision. It is so normal to feel unsettled as you go through this stage, finding and sorting your possessions.

    6. Take breaks from the packing and sorting. Have some hot soup, a delicious cup of coffee or a nutritious sandwich and keep your body fueled and warm.

    Here are 4 general tips to help with any kind of upheaval or transition, that will calm and soothe you as you move through the process.
    7. Dance-exercise -or take a walk -It helps with the stress and bolsters your mood.
    Here are 5 -5minute oldies I have compiled to go with the StandApp app I talked about last week. I chose them for their dance factor and most importantly that they run for a full five minutes. Put one on or choose your own and get your heart beating fast and the serotonin flowing.

    Thriller -Michael Jackson

    Boogy Wonderland - Earth Wind and Fire

    I'm so Excited -The Pointer Sisters

    Staying Alive -The Bee Gees

    Into The Groove -Madonna

    8. Chat to a friend -or send them a FB message and tell them how you feel. Just writing it down and telling someone is helpful. You are no longer alone with the burden, the worry or the unknown.

    9. Laugh. Take 5 minutes on You Tube and watch a clip from Monty Python, Faulty Towers, John Stuart, Miranda, Seinfeld or the Simpsons -anything you know you find funny and that lifts your spirits.

    10. Keep your routine in place as much as possible, to keep familiarity and normality close by!

    • 1
    What would you add to this list?

    Do you have a question I can help you with? Email me at (If I publish the question, all identifying details will be changed to preserve anonymity.)

    Tell me about how you overcame a hard transition. Leave me a message and if you liked this post remember to share it with your friends!

    Good luck and let me know how your transitions work out.
    • Gillyx

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  1. Great tips, Gilly! I especially love the first one...I lived in the same home almost all of my childhood and I worried that my sons wouldn't have that same connection. It truly is the memories that you have that are more important than the walls they were created in...thank you for that! I also love the playlist....great 'get moving' songs!

    1. Thanks Marie, We've lived in 7 homes on three continents, so I am relying on the memories piece being valid!! My children have great memories of their childhoods, but I don't think they can point to one home over another,from their early years as the home in which those memories were created. Glad you like the songs . It was challenging to find 5 minute versions of the songs but worth it. Hope you are dancing.GIllyx

    2. Love the idea of moving house to songs - keeps the family occupied and moving to the beat! What about Dr Beat by Gloria Estefan?

  2. Great post, Gilly. I hope your friend finds comfort in your words and suggestions. I'm sure we can all recall those uncertain feelings of moving and the anxiety of packing an entire house!

    1. Thanks Melissa. Yes there are so many emotions around moving home and even with the positive reasons being obvious, it is still anxiety provoking.

  3. My tip is - remember that it's not about squeezing the last penny out of every job. Sometimes you have to throw money at a situation to save your sanity, e.g. ge the movers to pack for you or bring in a cleaner. Also about saving your sanity, do some research by all means but when you've had enough just choose a mortgage, a moving company, furniture for the new house. It's not choosing a husband, it's not that important. And another favourite - everyone will try to give you advice. Listen and then do what's best for you. Advice is always subjective and applies best to the specific giver.

  4. I forgot my 4th one - You'll make mistakes. Everyone does. If your mistake cost you $200 or thereabouts be very very thankful. Try to avoid the $10,000 mistakes though :).

  5. Great advice Rachel. Moving is so fraught, especially when a lot of emotions as well as money are tied up in the decision. There is no doubt that most mistakes are reversible and trusting your gut, because you know you best is very important. Also comfort and support from others as you go through the process, smooths some of the rough edges and managing your anxiety can help make the move more manageable. it's all those half unpacked boxes that make me most stressed, because no one else can really put things away for you in your new home!