Are you considering relocating or are you in the process of relocating to downsize or be near family or let go of a house that has become unmanageable? Perhaps, due to health challenges, you are moving to an assisted living facility or retirement community. It can be a stressful, anxiety provoking time.
You may be leaving a home you have had for many years, friends and familiar things behind. Things may feel uncertain. You may be filled with anxiety and worry. This article will help you stay calm and get through the process.
I left the moderate climate of central Ohio, where I had lived for 37 years, and moved to over 90-degree blazing hot sunshine. I’m now in Dallas, Texas with a sizzling summer nipping at my heels! This is NOT where a Canadian born woman should be!
The relocation was our decision. My daughter and her family, including my two grandsons, were reason enough to move just down the street from them in the Dallas area.
Despite family being a stone’s throw away, a new house and furniture and being an anxiety coach myself, I was empty emotionally and exhausted. Unpacking was a hurried frenzy. Feeling lost and sad, I frequently fought back tears, lost sleep, and doubted the move. What was I thinking!? Would I ever find myself again?
Come to find out, I was not alone. Relocating is a common experience for many post-retirement and aging adults. I’ve met several such folks here in Texas. Being close to family seems a shared underlying motivation. Other reasons include downsizing, preferring a different (warmer?) climate, being closer to medical facilities, or any number of changing needs that come with aging.
I was surprised to learn that there’s a name for the stress and anxiety of relocating. “Relocation Stress Syndrome” or “Transfer Trauma” is prevalent among seniors being uprooted from homes they have lived in for a long time (Companions for Seniors, 2021).
Any way you look at it, transitions like this are stressful and difficult. So, how can we manage this emotional experience with more calm and less anxiety and worry?
Here are 3 steps to take to stay calm and reduce your anxiety during relocation or any life event.
Try thinking like an archeologist. Dig into the barriers and fears prompting tension. Get honest with yourself. This takes courage and commitment. What’s the worst thing that could happen in this situation? How true are these imagined outcomes, really? What sparks anxiety for you? Getting to root causes of worry will begin the process of releasing panic and dread.
After unearthing your worst fears, you are ready to make a change that will alter your life in worry-free ways. Throw out the anxious, obsessive, worrisome thoughts and welcome fresh positive thoughts. This will involve releasing self-judgment. Explore and practice various strategies and tools to create new ways of thinking that ease and transform anxiety.
Developing a strategy for practicing anxiety-free functioning on a daily basis is critical. Create new routines for unwinding and recharging. Put a plan in place to calm yourself when challenges or stressful surprises pop up. When worry escalates, you will have a way to cope with it.
These 3 steps can help get you on the road to anxiety free living. You can do it! You can learn how to manage overwhelming stress and shift towards a life happening BY you instead of a life happening TO you. I invite you to try it.
Anxiety-free living is possible even in the middle of a giant relocation experience or anything else that life throws at you. If you are going through a time of anxiety due to relocation or anything else, you can find support right here.
Are you planning a move or some other serious life transition? How well are you coping with the anxiety? What has helped you overcome anxious emotions?
Tags Downsizing Your Life