It’s easy to get caught up in a moving “To Do” list that seems never-ending, but even the airlines know if you don’t put on your oxygen mask first, you’re not going to be any good to anyone around you. Moving to a new home is undoubtedly one of the most stressful times for a family regardless if the move is across town or across the country. The key ingredient in a successful move (i.e., as little chaos as humanly possible!!) is YOU. To more effectively assist your children with the challenges they face when moving, you have to be at your best. Self-care isn’t selfish. It is the first requirement to a healthy, balanced life.
Self-care doesn’t have to be a full day spa treatment, although many of us would agree what a great idea that is!! Simply finding (or rediscovering) your passion and incorporating more of it into your life is a great start. Whether it’s committing to getting more sleep each night, saying no to that “one more thing,” or signing up for the painting class you’ve been dying to take, spending a little time each day recharging your batteries makes a huge difference for you and your family. A great first step is to really think about what life will look like, sound like and feel like when you are working at more of your full potential. Then, set a goal. Even just starting with five minutes each day is a step in the right direction. Taking small, daily, incremental steps toward your goal increases the likelihood of you reaching that goal.
Healthy self-care leads to a more proactive than reactive approach to problem solving. When parents are fully present, they are better able to think and act creatively in response to children facing the stress of moving. In addition, self-care is great role-modeling for your children. Showing your children how to take care of themselves in healthy and loving ways helps them set appropriate boundaries and avoid getting taken advantage of. We want our children to be contributing members of society but when we show them they need to do that at their own expense, we are setting them up for practicing unhealthy habits.
Much as a leader in an organization sets the tone for their department or company, parents set the tone for their family. Happy, healthy parents make a happy, healthy family atmosphere. During the time when a family is moving, there is no way to completely eliminate the stress. Truthfully, in life there is no way to completely eliminate stress. If parents are practicing healthy self-care, they are better able to handle the emotional rollercoaster kids experience before, during and after a move.
Tapping into your resource network is a great way to help reduce the stress of moving and help you take better care of yourself.
For more information about the Moving Families Initiative, please visit www.movingfamiliesinitiative.com.