Relocation is stressful. Even if you are simply moving to a townhouse in the same complex, it’s still stressful. We’ve done that by the way. We thought we could just load up the car and drive back and forth 300 meters between places. Worst plan ever.
Planning the moving logistics kicks off anxiety. Packing boxes ramps up the stress. Throw in ‘global mobility’ and ‘international movers’ and you wonder how you will survive.
In 2020, during the global coronavirus pandemic, I packed up my family and moved from the United Kingdom to Canada. I was still working while doing everything on my own. I had a to-do list longer than my arm. Everything that should have been easy had an added complication. Our original flights were cancelled, the hotels near to us in London weren’t taking guests, we required government permission to land in Toronto during Covid…and I could go on. Summary – I was juggling a lot and at risk of burnout.
So how did I end up making those months of moving and settling into a new country the most pleasant, relaxed and smoothest experience I’ve ever had?
Simple – by maintaining a self-care program that included reading, exercise, meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, and consuming high-vitality foods.
Here’s how it played out.
During the first weeks of lockdown in the U.K., the kids and I exercised in the mornings with Joe Wicks on YouTube and went walking in Barnes Common in the evenings. Check out my #Coviddiaries blogpost series for more on how we managed.
An agency partner started offering daily yoga classes via Zoom and a small, grateful group of colleagues would log in each morning or lunchtime. She also gifted me with two specially blended aromatherapy oils – Sage and Basil was one, the other was a Ginger, Turmeric, Orange, and Fir Needle blend. I used them daily and added Frankincense and Lavender to manage the insidious insomnia.
On arrival in Toronto, we quarantined together in a one-bedroom apartment for two weeks. Four of us. One bathroom. Enough said. Miraculously I kept up a daily self-care regimen, joining fitness and yoga classes via Zoom, meditating, drinking tons of water and reading voraciously to nourish my mind and to feed my imagination.
And then came the biggest shift – I joined a twelve-week program called Shakti at Home. It included HIIT classes, yoga, strength training, daily meditation, journaling, breathwork, wellness webinars, and practical guides to maintaining a diet of high vitality food along with recipes. It was a transformative experience.
Moving brings up all kinds of emotions. It is also physically and mentally taxing, so you need to actively renew your energy. And if you are a parent, your family’s wellbeing depends hugely on your state of mind during the move. Your own self-care is essential to how you cope with each hurdle during the transition and support others around you.
Investing in my wellbeing helped me meet challenges with equanimity and remain centered when our shipment was stuck at the Port in Montreal for several weeks and my work permit was delayed for months because of Covid.
Whether you have a move coming up or not, safe guard your mental health and make self-care a must. It doesn’t have to be costly; here are some simple ideas:
- Take a daily walk or ride in nature.
- Do some yoga stretching each day.
- Download a free app for meditation or mindfulness
- Drink plenty water, you will feel the difference.
- Get more sleep. Write your list of things to do, get tasks done daily and what you can’t finish, leave for the next day, there is no point in exhausting yourself.
- Prepare healthy, nourishing meals, even in the madness of moving. I use the Live Fit Kitchen Cookbook which has great recipes.
- Plan a mental escape – read a novel.
Don’t wait another minute! Make your self-care a priority and master your next move.
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© Arlene Amitirigala 2021. All Rights Reserved.