Rachel Longo is a Global Mobility Specialist. In this role, she assists in meeting the immigration needs of the international assignee and global mobility needs of the organization, which includes coordinating with government agencies and finalizing work permits/visas. In her blog post, she speaks to Blue Yonder associates who recently moved and shares their learnings along with advice on how to prepare your mindset for a move.
The psychology behind moving rarely gets a lot of attention but the emotional impact of moving is in the Top 5 most stressful situations we experience across a lifespan. As humans, we become attached to our surroundings and a big move motivates some physical and emotional purging. As a Global Mobility Specialist yet not an experienced mover, I thought I needed to dive in and explore the topic along with some of our associates that have recently experienced it.
Perhaps you are changing your location, the layout of your home, your proximity to friends and family, and maybe even your job or all the above. These changes are often unavoidable, and even if they’re positive in nature, good changes can still be a little scary. It’s okay to feel a little anxious about a big change, even if you know it’s for the best. Embrace the change. “I would suggest taking it one day at a time. Try to look forward to the positives that the other country/city has to offer. Don’t hesitate to take any kind of help from your team, friends, or family. Don’t shy away from taking professional help, to prepare yourself mentally if needed.” – Anchal Gupta, Germany
Do yourself and those around you a huge favor and prepare for the emotional fall out of moving. Whether you want to move or are forced to, the anxiety and apprehension is linked to the “unknown” part of doing something new. Accept the move and focus on the benefits. View the move as a transition and the possibilities it will present. Prioritize your self-care especially when doing something highly stressful such as relocating your entire family across the globe. “A move is the best time to declutter and liberate yourself from material things you have accumulated over the years. The multiple rounds to the recycling center were therapeutic and we were able to start the next stage of our lives with less clutter.” – Shashi Subramanian, Spain
Adapt and be flexible – have a few back up plans in case things go wrong. Remain calm and focused – moving is the solution and not the problem. Everything you value (experiences, people and places) are memories that move with you and new ones will be formed. “It is very difficult emotionally to come to terms with such a situation, but even in such difficult scenarios, having an open mind and taking it up as a fresh opportunity to explore and experience something new is a good starting point.” – Surya Sekar, United States
Moving and adjusting takes so much time, money and energy! Having to put your life on hold while you get your move sorted out can be stressful, especially considering the major changes you’re making. Divide and conquer tasks and have open conversations with your family, friends and employer on what to expect. For many people, money — or a lack thereof — is a big source of stress. That’s why it’s no wonder that it plays a major role in feeling overwhelmed and anxious during the moving process. Also, remember there will be days that you question if it was the right decision, so try to have a plan in advance such as self-care, a little thing tucked away that makes you feel at home (such as special candy or tea), words set aside for yourself to remind you of all the positives, etc. “With a move, the one thing that can be guaranteed is change. The first few months is just figuring out how things work. It’s important not to make any decisions about how you feel in those few months, as it’s a lot of trial and error and just like a new job – you have to give yourself six months to even ask yourself if you like it.” – Shashi Subramanian, Spain
Having a good support system as well as an international credit card is critical. Do your research, make lists and be sure to set aside time to enjoy before and after the move. For some, it may be a new country, culture and language to learn. “Traveling and experiencing the local culture, expanding your social circle helps a lot.” – Surya Sekar, United States
Moving often includes a long list of items you may find depleting. When doing things you don’t enjoy, you may feel exhausted. Remember your self-care throughout. Nothing is more powerful for your well-being than spending time outside. Getting some fresh air, no matter the state or country you are moving from/to, will help you think better and relieve tension. To minimize stress, practice mindfulness to calm your mind and help your body recharge. To close, I remember words my grandmother shared with me at an early age…stop and smell the roses.