7 great tips to make moving less stressful
Moving is exciting but it can also be one of the most strenuous things you do in life. When you are an expat partner moving to Germany, the stress of a move can feel overwhelming. With your partner busy at work, it can feel that you are left to deal with the complexities of relocating to Germany on your own.
Additionally, you are worried about how the children will cope and what you will do as an expat partner in Germany, running constantly through your mind. Then there is the time. How will you manage to get everything done in time?
All of the responsibility for your family’s move has fallen to you and it feels very stressful. However, there are things that you can do to make your move to Germany as an expat cause you less anxiety.
Having moved myself with and without family, nationally and internationally, I have found it strenous every time, no matter how prepared I was. Over time I have learned a few simple key strategies to make it less of a hurdle that I would like to share with you today.
Share the load:
Although it may seem easier, don't try to do everything yourself. Do ask for help. Relocating is a complex process and you cannot expect to do it all on your own. It is important that you tell others that you need help. Nobody will notice that you're actually walking on your last legs because everything just grows over your head. And so no one can offer you their help. You have to communicate so that others have the opportunity to help you. Another way are online resources like Task Rabbit or Craigslist in the US to search for people who can help you pack and move, or myhammer.de or betreut.de in Germany.
Do make quality time to say goodbye properly to your friends and family. It will feel very different when they are a long distance away. Make memories that you can take with you, such as photos and mementoes that will bring you comfort when things get tough. You can go out for a final dinner or evening out with friends before moving. Making an event out of your last time out on the town can be a good way to cap off your time where you lived. When you’re saying goodbye to friends, it’s important to tell them how and why you valued them. Even if you promise to stay in touch, you’ll want tell your friends how important they are to you before moving.
Do share how you feel with others. Do allow yourself to mourn your losses, complain and share your anxieties. Don't feel that you have to keep quiet about your feelings - your feelings are important. Attend to your emotional needs. Even if the reasons for your move are positive ones, feelings of sadness and anxiety can arise. Don’t discount how difficult moving can be, but instead take it into account when planning your move.
Look after yourself:
It is surprising to know that the family member who is most affected by a relocation is you, the expat wife. You may find it difficult to sleep, feel an intense loneliness, feel isolated, have lost your appetite and more. Don’t be so busy looking after everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself. You are the person who gets the least support. A notoriously difficult situation to deal with many expats today use the support an expat coach.
Focusing solely on you, and your individual situation, an expat coach will provide you with the crucial emotional support that you will need as an expat wife in Germany. Additionally, they will help you with many more aspects of your daily life, to understand how to access the local community and culture in which you live, as well as many more.
Reframe the situation:
With Reframing we choose, as the name suggests, a new framework for a situation. Just as a frame can either underline or destroy the effect of an image, so our perspective on a situation can also influence it positively or negatively. Sometimes the situation is no longer perceived as threatening and does not cause any stress at all.
In this way one can reinterpret many typical stress situations abroad. If the furniture comes too late during the move, the electricity doesn't work in the new house or you cannot communicate with the workers, you can either lose your nerve. But you can also try to look at the situation from a distance and think: "How will we laugh about this chaos in 2 months' time? Reframing also works when there is stress due to cultural differences. By learning about the host culture and understanding its backgrounds, we recognize that "inappropriate" behaviors still make sense through the eyes of the other culture. Anger or cultural insecurity, i.e. stress, then disappears into thin air.
Encourage your children to express themselves:
If you have children, they should know their feelings are normal. Especially since they are young, children need to be able to feel and process their emotions. Ask your children how they feel about the move. Involving them in the moving process, if not the moving decision, can make them feel more invested in moving. If you have children in the tweens or teens, make sure there is something each day for them to do. You can do things like going for a walk, swimming, or seeing a movie.
Realize that this is a hard time. You are going through a log of emotional and existential changes. Know that you are doing the best you can. Know that you are not alone. Be kind to yourself. You are important to this move. Take your time to watch my webinar 5 steps to finding success and fulfillment from an expat life and see how you can create a happy and meaningful expat life in Germany.
It has been widely proven that your happiness in Germany, as an expat wife, is the biggest factor in the success of your family’s new life as expats to Germany, so don’t ignore your feelings.
Find out more about my expat coaching and learn how I can help you to rediscover your identity and find a new purpose in your relocation. Make your move to Germany a success today.
Do you agree? Have you got any great tips for moving as an expat wife? Share your comments with us, we would love to hear from you. Leave your tips and stories below.
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