The stress of moving can be amplified for abuse survivors.

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48 hours ago, 24 hours ago, my emotions were teetering on the brink of overload. The stress of moving is a real, valid, thing to experience.

As I sit here now, my apartment is slowly getting organized. Some pictures have been hung, beds put together, kitchen mostly organized, and many boxes have been emptied or are in the process of.

I don’t know of many people that can actually say they enjoy the experience of moving. Your life is turned upside down, packed in boxes, and you might have been recently living on carry out or eating off paper plates to try and avoid any more cleaning and delayed packing.

Walking in the front door of your house is no longer the sanctuary you have built for yourself; it’s now moving-day-300x197 The stress of moving can be amplified for abuse survivors.a catastrophe.

For survivors, it’s all of that plus the triggers, anxiety, and overall uneasiness that comes with not having your routine in place. Nothing is where you normally have it, you might not be sleeping well at night, and trying to find your toothbrush in the morning is like a Where’s Waldo adventure!

For the last few days my life has been all of the above and then some, but somehow I managed to survive it and still be able to sit here with some bit of sanity left. Which bring me to why this is such an important topic.

Here are some tips that I used to keep myself on task, my stress level as normal as possible, and even have a little bit of fun in the process.

  • Do your packing a little bit at a time:  If you are a procrastinator like I tend to be, you’d rather not start packing until the last minute. That way you don’t have to deal with the thought of uprooting yourself.
    • Unfortunately this is only delaying in the inevitable, so start packing a couple weeks ahead of time. Even farther out if you are comfortable in doing so. Pack a room a day, or a couple closets a day, and break it down into easy, manageable chunks of time and space. This way you don’t feel so overwhelmed.
  • Scheduling utilities – take a day or an evening and schedule the change over of your gas, electric, water, TV, etc. Keep track of confirmation numbers and dates for service changes on a calendar or you perhaps your phone. Call well in advance too, so you don’t get stuck with no internet 😉 . Since many survivors have money or finance triggers, take your time and be sure to be kind to yourself in this process.  The sooner you start, the more you can spread out this process if that makes you feel more comfortable.
  • Invite friends or family over to help. Of course you want to have people over to help you when you actually move, but why not have them come over and help pack too?
    • Make an evening out of it, or a few hours during the day if that works better. You can use the time together to catch up, swap stories, or just shoot the breeze to pass the time. Invite different people over each day and you’ll be surprised at how fast the time can fly and how much you can get accomplished.
  • Use social media to invite over people on your moving day. If you are able, consider providing snacks and drinks, or maybe order pizzas for your helpers. The more you spread the word ahead of time, letting people know when you plan to move, the better chance they’ll be able to help.
  • Don’t make it such a chore, have some fun with it.
    • Smile, laugh, and try to enjoy the time. Everything is easier when you can laugh. It keeps your mood light and things tend to bother you less when you are making the best of a stressful situation.
  • At all times: Before, during, and after the move, Remember to breathe and focus on the present. Be mindful of your surroundings and take a couple minutes  as often as you need to just breathe and relax. You’ll lower your heart rate, stress level, and blood pressure and just feel more calm.
    • When you feel anxiety starting to take over… stop, put the boxes down, and walk away. Realize that you can do this. You are strong and capable, but it’s OK to take a breather and regroup.
    • Give yourself some credit, be proud of what you’ve done to start this move and know that it will be worth when you’re all finished.

I-love-moving-243x300 The stress of moving can be amplified for abuse survivors.Those are some things that I have found helpful in dealing with my move, and honestly it really did go pretty well. It wasn’t without some hiccups along the way but overall with planning and self care, it was much easier to handle. 

Taking a similar approach to unpacking and organizing in your new place is an ideal as well. Don’t feel the need to unpack and do everything in one day. Trust me I know that’s hard, especially for those of us with OCD. We want everything set up and functional as soon as possible.

Just like before, break it down into manageable chunks. Enlist the help of your kids, spouse, family, and friends if possible. You didn’t get all packed in one day, so don’t expect yourself to have everything all unpacked and put away in one day either.

The last thing you need is more stress on top of the million things that are on your plate already.

By the way, I just love Grumpy Cat..that little dude has a thought for every occasion that always makes me laugh. 

Be good to yourself, be proud of yourself, and realize while moving is never easy, we can make the best of a tough situation if we approach it with a positive attitude and plan.

Survive, Thrive, and Conquer your move! You Got This!

-Matt

 

image credits – makeameme.org and all-free-downloads.com

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Blogger-Podcaster-Advocate for Mental Health.

Matt is survivor of childhood sexual abuse & narcissistic abuse, living with Dissociation, Anxiety, & PTSD.

This blog exists to inspire all who have survived the trauma of abuse. All posts, podcasts, and videos are my life as a survivor shared openly and honestly to help inspire as many as possible to speak up, speak out, and not be ashamed.

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