Spring is often a time of intense excitation for many people. For example I like to “de-cluterize” my closets and my computer or re-evaluate my business strategy. Probably mother nature makes us feel that way, showing us so much exuberance with beautiful flowers and birds singing everywhere.
It is also a very chaotic time for most expatriates who are going to relocate to another country or going back “home”. If you are moving to an unknown place, you have probably spent a lot of time and energy already to search information, connect with people you don’t know who are living or has lived in your new country. Maybe you have also to make plans to sell your current house, cars, appliances(if you don’t have the same voltage), worried about your kids’ well-being and schools, started house hunting etc.
The number of things to think about when you plan a move is a Herculean task and you better be well prepared and organized.
When you are in transition, no matter if it is for a new job, a new house or a new country, you have to deal with a lot of stress that will prevent you to focus and get the right things done.
Here are some tips to help you achieve your goals while enjoying your life when you are in transition:
1-Dealing with uncertainty
When we deal with any change we have many worries and many “what If” type of questions that trigger a lot of anxiety. What if I don’t like the people in my new job ?, What if I cannot sell my house ? What if I don’t like my new country ? it is hard to focus when we are constantly worrying.
What you can do:
- Accept that the decision you have made is the right one and do not regret it as there is no turn back
- Let go the obsession to control everything.The only certainty we have, is that life is unpredictable, no matter how prepared we are.
- Try to notice when you get those worries kicking
- Identify a coping strategy like taking a break and go walking outside or write down your feelings and thoughts in a journal, talk to your friends or simply do nothing and think about a good moment of your life.
2-Keeping Your Routine
Everyday, you have to keep your life as usual plus add on the top all the logistics and deal with unplanned events such as waiting for a visa or finalizing your new job contract. You will experienced periods of high excitation when you are into action followed by periods of uncertainty that are really testing your patience and your morale when things are not going the way you think.
What you can do:
- Having rituals or daily habits helps stay focused.
- You can choose specific days of the week to do certain activities that you need to do anyway like picking the kids at school, grocery shopping, going to the gym etc. Put those activities at a fix time in your weekly calendar as much as you can so you don’t waste your time on planning.
- Be realistic and conservative about the time you need, adjust your pace like for a marathon you cannot be always in an emergency mode otherwise you will get burnout.
- Take 2 daily breaks of 30 minutes minimum for unplugging and relaxing
3-Stay Motivated : Make a “done list”
Getting things done give you a sense of control and helps you manage your stress.
What you can do:
- Finish everyday by revising what you have accomplished during the last 24 hours or last week or since you started working on your project. You will realize you have done much more than you think, including things that were not planned!
Your Turn : What do you do to stay focused while in transition ?
- The other side of an expat life (lovelifeliveandlaugh.wordpress.com)
- Uncertainty (mightyinspiration.wordpress.com)