Moving abroad is an exciting time whether you’re embarking on a temporary adventure, making a permanent move to a long-loved holiday destination, or seeing the realisation of a lifelong dream. However, expatriating is also a complicated and time-consuming process. It requires a great deal of energy to take care of the necessary administration, and then there’s the added burden of leaving friends, family and beloved settings behind.
All this can significantly inflate your stress levels and if the moving process becomes too much of a chore it can weigh on your health. Here are some top stress-busting tips to help you keep tension at bay and make the moving process as straightforward as possible.
It’s obviously going to be a lot more stress for you if you have to arrange everything at the last minute. Moving abroad usually isn’t a spur of the moment decision, so make sure you give yourself enough time to take care of everything when setting an actual moving date. There are lots of tasks to complete and you may not even be aware of half of them until you have done your research.
Find as much information as you can about moving abroad and assemble a list of the things you need to arrange. Set a realistic timeframe for working through it all; one which takes into account complications you can’t control. For instance, if you are planning to sell your home it could take significantly longer than you hoped, which can delay your move unless you’ve planned for it.
Careful planning means you can avoid the unexpected pitfalls which make an already complex process even more stressful, as well as making the whole process much more straightforward.
Remember to focus on the positives
Once you’re in the middle of arranging international bank accounts, visas, international shipping for your furniture, currency transfers, home sales and packing it can be easy to forget why you are going in the first place. Moving abroad becomes a task rather than a pleasure, one that can seem never-ending.
This is obviously going to do nothing for your stress levels, so it’s important to remember why you are going through it all. Reflect on the positives of your move and the reasons which first motivated it. Whether it is the pursuit of a better climate, travel, absorbing another culture or simply making your retirement even more enjoyable, keep in mind what you are hoping to achieve by moving abroad.
It might help to make a list of the positives of your new country; the weather, the scenery, the food, the quality of life, and so on. If you’re beginning to question your move, make a list of the things that you don’t like about your current location to help remind you that you are heading somewhere better. If list making isn’t your thing, try visualising yourself enjoying your new life, or look up pictures and videos of your new home. You could even explore it virtually using Google Earth.
Have a going away party
A going away party is a great chance for your friends and family to give you a proper send off. It allows you to says a proper goodbye to your loved ones, which can make the necessity of leaving people you care about behind easier to deal with. This helps with your stress levels as it is, but a going away party is also beneficial because it gives you something to look forward to.
Because you first have to move in order to live abroad, the actual relocation process can often obscure your overall goal and become something dreaded. The excitement of heading overseas for pastures new gets buried under forms and boxes. A going away party, however, is a chance to unwind, forget about all the hard stuff for a day or night and is something to look forward to as moving day approaches.
Schedule down time
The closer it gets to moving day, the less spare time you may have. Conversely, your stress levels are only going to rise, making it more and more important that you take some time out. Even just an hour or two here and there to indulge in your favourite activity – even if that is doing nothing at all – can really help keep the tension at bay.
Some down time can even become part of your moving preparations. Having one last drink in your favourite local pub, or visiting a particular landmark or attraction you are fond of, for instance.
It’s also worth ensuring you allow yourself the time to eat and sleep properly. Sticking to a healthy diet can help with your stress levels, as can getting enough sleep. Don’t skip meals in favour of a snack, or stay up late in an attempt to get something done; you’ll find it has an adverse effect on you and makes your moving efforts less efficient.
However you plan to spend your free time, make sure to plan some breaks in the constant list of things to do though so you don’t feel overwhelmed and let moving tensions build up.
Set up everything you can before you leave
The more groundwork you can do while you are still in the UK, the easier it will be to settle into life overseas. Hopefully, with everything sorted before you start your journey, the stress of the move will stay back in Blighty and you can focus on enjoying yourself once you have arrived abroad. To this end, make a list of the kind of things you will need to set up – overseas bank accounts, utilities, visas, medical insurance and so forth.
You might find some of these require you to already be residing in your new country before you can set them up. This is the case with certain banks, but others are happy to help you open an account before you arrive. Doing this helps you set up regular payments for bills or taxes and means you can also arrange to get your pension sent overseas; reputable currency brokers offer a Regular Overseas Payment (ROP) option that ensures your money is converted at a competitive exchange rate in time for a set date each month.
So there you have it, some top stress-busting tips to help you enjoy the process of moving overseas and ensure you don’t let planning take the shine off your adventure.