No matter how well you feel you have everything planned and under control, moving home is one of the most stressful of life events. Sometimes small stresses can spiral and join with other stresses in your life to create an overwhelming feeling. So how can you manage this situation? Mindfulness can help you to deal with all kinds of stress and anxiety, which can be extremely helpful not just during the moving process, but with daily life too. In this article, we look at mindfulness whilst moving home and offer tips to help keep you calm and remain in the moment.
What is Mindfulness?
Simply put, mindfulness is living in the present moment. Noticing what is occurring around you, and as best you possibly can, just allowing it to happen. It can be too easy to miss the everyday little pleasures of life if we allow everything to be swamped by our anxieties. By being mindful, stress can be reduced, and anxiety managed. Mindfulness promotes a sense of wellbeing and allows perspective which is incredibly helpful when there is a big change like moving home.
Ways to practice mindfulness
- Spend just a few minutes doing nothing. Sit and close your eyes for a minute or two. Listen to the beat of your heart and notice the ground underneath your feet. Relax your hands and allow your shoulders to drop. Breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, take deep and long, nourishing breaths. Notice your breathing and how your breath enters and leaves your body. Allow your breath to settle into its own rhythm, noticing the rise and fall of your chest as you breathe. There are quite a few apps that can help you through this kind of mindfulness exercise, Headspace.com is a great place to start and they offer a free trial!
- Avoid the temptation to multi-task. Focus on one job and complete it. Now the next one, and so on… this focus will help to combat that horrible overwhelmed feeling.
- Take a walk, regardless of the season or the weather, go find the beauty of our natural world. Pay attention to small details you see, the sound of the wind through the trees, the rain as it lands on your coat, the shape of the shadows the sun casts, the smell of the crisp air on a cold day. You might find a short walk incredibly soothing and rejuvenating.
- Be kind to yourself. Recognise when you expect too much from yourself and when you are being overly critical of yourself. You are doing your best and that is more than good enough.
- Accept that there is a lot going on, acknowledge that it is a very disruptive time. Trying to ignore everything that is going on and attempting to push everything deep down inside you will not contain it, it will leak out, usually at an inopportune time. It is like trying not to think of purple crocodiles, you weren’t thinking about them until you read that, now you are thinking about them and analysing, judging and processing.
Moving is Stressful! How Can I Stay Mindful?
Here are a few mindfulness tips specific to moving home:
- Next three things. Your to-do list is going to be huge and that can feel overwhelming. Rather than trying to tackle everything at once, prioritise. What are the next three things you need to do? Write those on a piece of paper, 3 tasks that is it. When you have completed each task, cross it off the list. Only when you have completed all 3 tasks should you return to the master list and then select the next 3 things. Breaking things down into these bite sized chunks will make everything far more manageable and you will in turn be more productive.
- Take mini breaks. If you are doing the “Next 3 Things” exercise, then take a break either after each one or after each set. 5 mins to walk through the garden, meditate or even listen to a piece of your favourite music.
- Be thankful. When (and you most likely will) encounter a negative thought, acknowledge that thought. Then focus and explore something you are thankful for. Perhaps the kindness of a friend or neighbour who is lending a helping hand, the excitement of a new home or even the sandwich someone has made for you. Find your positives and acknowledge those too.
- Ask for help. You are not, nor are any of us, super-human. Ask for help! Whether that is from friends or family or from the experts you have surrounded yourself with to help you move. Your solicitor or conveyancer, your estate agent, your mortgage or insurance broker. We are all here to help you.
We hope you have found our article and the mindfulness tips helpful. If you need additional help the NHS website has an incredibly helpful article about mindfulness with some excellent tips and links to further advice and support.