5 tips on how to minimise stress when moving abroad

Moving Abroad

Moving abroad can be overwhelmingly stressful – because it all has to happen at arm’s length.

Whether you’re trying to organise utilities, view properties to rent, or find a school for your kids, it’s often happening in a second language, hundreds of miles away. In these conditions, even the simplest of tasks can send your blood pressure soaring.

Stress is what the body does as it attempts to make adjustments to change.  It can show itself a variety of symptoms such as headaches, loss of concentration, worrying, tearfulness, but they’re all related to a major change in our lives and the fears that we may not be able to cope in response to the challenges it presents us with.

Here are 5 ways to manage and cope with the stresses that overseas removals can create:

Create a Strong Support Network

Let people know that you may well need their support along the way. It may sound obvious, but there’s always the temptation to try to be self-sufficient and find yourself buckling under the strain. The ideal kind of support network has 3 elements:

  • Friends & Family. Find out what kind of support people can give, and take them up on any offers they make, whether it’s a shoulder to cry on, or physical packing tasks.
  • Expat Community. There are thousands of these dotted across the globe, so find the one most relevant to you, and ask for help and advice as you need it.
  • Experienced Removals Company. It’s never too early to start asking for recommendations for a removals company with a great track record for overseas removals.

Make Lists and Work Through Them

Activity is a great stress-buster, but it can often be difficult to know where to start. Make numerous lists, therefore, and work to start consolidating them once everything’s out of your head and on paper. Take time to put the tasks in order, and map the process in detail before you start. Then you can begin to work your way through, and tick off the items as they’re done. In this way you regain control and get the necessary tasks completed.

Make Decisions About Packing

Perhaps the most stressful aspect of moving overseas is the decisions you don’t make until you’re forced to. Packing is the most common culprit here. Basically, it all comes down to whether you’ll pack yourself, or get professional packers in. Start out by getting some quotes to find out what the cost would be. Once you have the quote, cost up the time you would spend on it – and work out whether professional packers are a cost-effective move for you.

Start Learning the Language

The majority of British expats move to Australia, the USA or Canada, where the language isn’t an issue. But if you’re moving to a European country and you don’t know the language, taking lessons has two distinctive benefits. First, it gives you a ‘connection’ with the country you’re moving to. Second, it’s a clear demonstration of your acceptance that change is happening – which is a great way to relieve stress.

Schedule and Plan Your Shipping

The sign of an experienced overseas removals company is that they’ll work closely with you on your shipping schedule. Shipped goods will normally take a few weeks to reach your new home, so you will need to make decisions about what’s going, what’s staying, and when shipping occurs. You should expect your removal company to provide:

  • Flexible scheduling
  • Full or part load
  • Customs forms completion
  • Specialist shipping for non-standard goods (pianos, antiques)
  • Detailed inventory of goods

Are Stress-Free Overseas Removals Possible?

Stress is a natural response to big changes in our lives, so there’s no way of avoiding it. But you can work to alleviate its harmful effects, and harness the positive energy it can lend to moving. There are 5 clear keynotes to bear in mind:

  • Let others help you
  • Turn worries into actions
  • Make decisions based on clear criteria
  • Acknowledge that change is happening
  • Work with an experienced overseas removals company

Photo by Max DeVesty on Unsplash