As I write this, my family and I are in the process of moving to a new home. Moving is stressful. It doesn’t matter if it is a planned or unexpected move, there are always complications. However, when you have a chronic illness like psoriatic arthritis the process of preparing for and moving can be overwhelming. The last time I moved was 7 years ago. It was not an easy move; I made a lot of mistakes which unnecessarily increased my pain. This time I am doing as much as I can to keep my pain level under control.
In the past, I took on all moving responsibilities. I searched for the homes, negotiated the leases, switched all the utilities, and did most of the packing. This go-round, my husband has taken over many of these tasks. This has kept my stress level lower than it has been with past moves. Stress increases my pain, so less stress has gifted me with more energy and strength to deal with my end of the bargain.
2. Asking for help and accepting assistance
I am not allowing my pride to keep me from asking friends and family to help. I have asked my able bodied friends to help with packing, loading/unloading the moving truck, cleaning up the old house, and unpacking and helping me settle into my new home.
3. Locking down commitments
Just because someone says they want to help or offers to help doesn’t mean that they are going to make the effort to follow through. I had many offers of help with my last move, but not one followed through. The problem was that I believed they would let me know when they were available, and I didn’t follow up with them. This time I am locking down commitments and determining how they will assist me as soon as possible.
4. Doing what I can when I can
Whether I like it or not my body is in charge of how much packing I get done each day. Some days I may knock out four hours and others only an hour or two. One day I may feel up to packing first thing in the morning and the next I may not have the energy until evening. I am trying to pace myself the best that I can. Not always easy with a deadline looming, but steps 1-3 have made it easier.
5. Listening to my body
Just because I feel like I have the energy and/or want to make a huge dent in the packing doesn’t mean that my body will cooperate. I am taking breaks long before my body demands them and accepting the days in which my body requires several naps.
6. Settling in slowly
I am in no rush to unpack and organize the new house. I plan to focus on unpacking necessary items and will get around to the rest when my body permits.