Many things cause us to lose our cool in stressful situations.
Sometimes frustration and aggravation can be controlled. Other times, control doesn’t come easily. I recently moved houses across the country and didn’t handle it as well as I could have. Nothing went the way I planned. Instead of dealing with things calmly, I found myself taking my anger out on others and saying things I later regretted.
Before the move even started, my husband and I found it hard to agree on anything regarding how it should be handled. He was convinced that if we didn’t enlist the help of family, friends or a moving company, we’d get in way over our heads and wouldn’t be able to handle moving across the country on our own. I was sure we didn’t need any help and were perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves.
About a week before we were supposed to move, I started panicking. Nothing was working out the way I wanted, clothes and personal items I needed had gotten lost in the shuffle and we were in no way prepared to pack everything into our two cars and my parents’ too-small trailer. My husband avoided me at any cost, knowing any wrong word could send me into a tantrum.
Finally, he had enough and decided to call on some family and friends to help us out before I completely lost it. They helped pack the remainder of our old home and even helped us squeeze all our belongings into the two cars and trailer. Looking back, there were a lot of things I wish I had done differently during the whole moving process. I pass these thoughts on to you, in hopes they can save you from alienating close friends and family.
What I should’ve done during the move
- Plan ahead. Making a monthly or weekly packing schedule would’ve saved us a lot of time and arguments. Taking the time to decide what belongings could be packed sooner and what we’d need until the day of the move could have helped us be more organized and stress-free.
- Take a deep breath. Instead of instantly reacting to stressful situations, I should’ve taken time to cool down. Thinking about what you say before you say it can help to avoid unnecessary arguments and hurt feelings.
- Get help. My friends and family were shocked when I didn’t ask them for help during the move. They were eager to relieve the stress we had put on ourselves. If I could do it again, I’d also hire a moving company to help us with the heavy lifting. Moving our furniture and appliances took a lot more effort and manpower than we anticipated.
- Take breaks. Sometimes it’s best to walk away from a stressful situation. Moving involves lots of walking, packing and organizing everything you own. This can wear down your nerves, so be sure to make the time for stress-free activities.
- Let it go. Things don’t always go according to plan and I have a difficult time accepting when things don’t go my way. If I had just put things into perspective, it would’ve been much easier to roll with the punches.
I hope these tips are useful for those who are going through or are thinking about moving. You can avoid a lot of hard feelings if you take the time to think about what you’re about to do or say. Once we got settled in our new home, it was easy to look back on this situation and laugh at how easily we could’ve avoided all that stress. If we ever decide to move again, which won’t be for a long time, at least we’ll be prepared for the obstacles we’re bound to face.