I am having an expat stress festival.

(12 Posts)
stressfestival Fri 23-May-14 02:40:30

We are moving in a few weeks and the stress is starting to kick in. We are moving from our expat posting back to the UK. I am OK with the move but this packing and organising malarkey both ends is beginning to seriously take it's toll on me. I have noticed over the past week clumps of hair falling out and I am bordering on brown paper bag breathing exercises. I'm not ready for the move and still have loads of things to pack and clean out. The movers come early next week then we are hoteling it for a few weeks before our move.

I need tips to keep calm and carry on. Plus how can I stop my hair falling out sad

I find making a list and checking it off helps me. It calms your thoughts and organizes what needs to be done. Try to do things in 30 minute chunks so you do not feel overwhelmed

We did a move last august and I am still overwhelmed by it. Now I try to one thing each evening to get sorted out and caught up and am feeling much better.

Wine also helps. Good luck!

Expatedout Fri 23-May-14 03:16:57

Oh I feel your pain. We are moving in 7 weeks and already stressed by the packing ,schooling, pets malarkey and we are not even in the thick of it yet

Missymoomum Fri 23-May-14 07:24:41

Oh god i wish i hadn't read this thread. We're supposed to be moving back to the UK this summer after being away for 4 years but still don't know for definite so I potentially have all this to come but squeezed in to a matter of 4 weeks or less shock

WallyBantersJunkBox Fri 23-May-14 12:04:18

Can you get some help? Someone to clean, while you pack?

Try clearing and packing one room, then using that as a storage base. Then tackle one room at a time - essential pile, can be packed pile, throw or sell pile.

I love lists, I find them calming. Keep a pad and pen to hand, and if you feel stressed just start writing down everything that is stressing you.

stressfestival Sat 24-May-14 00:57:15

I'm a little better today after a few glasses of Pinot last night. I love lists too but had so many things to do I had to buy a folder for them!
We have been expats forever so had a lot of things to offload and sort. I am nearly done I think. The stress just got to me in the last few days. Packers are in next week then I have to clean up the apartment ready to hand over. It's going to be a crazy week next week but after that I actually have a few weeks of nothing to do before I have to tackle stuff for the UK. I've not lived there for 16 years and I am really looking forward to it. It will be like moving to a new country after all their time. I don't have any help so have had to do it all whilst DH is working and traveling. My nails are looking very scraggy and I will be treating myself to a mani after the container has gone.

ThePost Sat 24-May-14 01:18:28

This is one of those times when looking at the big picture is really unhelpful! I used to focus on small groups of tasks each day, knowing that eventually each day of small tasks becomes the whole. If it is at all possible, try and do something relaxing for yourself each day, even if it's just a 30 minute walk, leaving it all behind for a quick coffee out somewhere, a yoga or gym class. Keep breathing!

LadyOfLlangollen Sat 24-May-14 01:35:47

We were expats for 16 years before moving back to the UK. I think getting some help is really worthwhile.
It's physically tiring however organised you are and having other people share the work really helps.
Have you kids with you?

stressfestival Sat 24-May-14 03:54:00

Yes two small ones bouncing off the walls.

The Post, I agree with you. I can't look at the big picture right now and can only deal with what is in front of me. It felt really overwhelming last week but then I closed down 2 rooms and allocated one to the move and the other to the stuff we need to take in suitcases because in my experience the packers just come in and start chucking everything they see in boxes and you find all kinds of weird stuff at the other end. I finished packing up all my kids things yesterday. I have sold and disposed of so much stuff so I don't have to tackle it in the UK. You can't just chuck your rubbish down a shute in England. We now don't even have a full 20 foot container to fill.

Come Wednesday I will be done and just have to hassle LL for deposit and chill

Alligatorpie Sat 24-May-14 06:14:02

Feeling the stress here too.
We aren't moving for 5 weeks, but we have PIL coming for 2 weeks, and dh and I both work until 2 days before we fly out. And then we fly to my dps for 4 weeks before moving. We have also decided not to ship, so we will be travelling with 10 suitcases, way too much hand luggage, 2 car seats, stroller...
I am starting to purge, but there is so much stuff! Luckily, there are lots of people to donate to, so as soon as I pack it, it is gone.

cannotseeanend Sat 24-May-14 06:42:24

Compared to moving back to the UK, my life if far worse. I cope by thinking of what I still have to be thankful for and try to keep my mind off my own life by helping others, because if I thought about myself, disaster would have struck.

The thought of packing up my house right now fills me with utter fear, because a house of 5 people and 1 adult, it's a lot, but I know I have to do it at some point. 1 room at a time. 1 day at a time. Set goals not too high. Moved 2 times in 6 years and done most of it alone, but next time I really am alone. Took me 2 months in total.

Good luck

LondonForTheWeekend Wed 28-May-14 09:47:54

Can I join too. Moving in six weeks and starting to freak a bit.

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