I’ll start by admitting that I am by no means an expert on handling life change well, yet. I’m trying really, really hard to be, but it turns out that packing up and selling your entire life to travel full-time comes with its fair share of up and down emotions.
It’s not just full-time travel that can cause stress, though. Any big life change – like graduating, or getting married, or getting divorced, or having a baby – can cause everything to be thrown out of whack. Below, I go through a few tips I’ve learned throughout this process, so far. I’m still learning, though!
1. Know that you won’t be stable all the time.
I have already done a super-embarrassing YouTube video about how my emotions have been going up and down. In other times in my life, I’ve started worrying immediately if I didn’t feel “normal” and “stable” all the time. In this process, I’ve realized “normal” and “stable” are bullshit. It’s okay to feel unsteady as you prepare for a huge new life change and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
2. Let friends and loved ones help.
When people offer to come help you pack up, or help you drive things to the donation center, or let you stay with them – they mean it! Sure, it might not be the most fun thing in the world to accompany someone on their mundane preparation errands, but your friends are your friends for a reason, and if they’re asking if they can help you, they really want to help you. Let them. It can be very tempting to take the burden of this new life all upon yourself (“Well, I’m about to living alone full-time anyway…”) but don’t make that mistake. Not only will you appreciate the actual help, it’ll also be a great way for you to connect with friends and loved ones before you go.
3. Maintain your “peace and calm” routine, as much as possible.
My “peace and calm” routine (as I call it) involves getting up at five am, sitting around with a cup of tea and my puppy for a bit, lacing up and heading out the door for a 3-5 mile run, coming back and doing CrossFit and then starting my day. Sure, I take rest days and I don’t maintain this exact same routine every single day, but I try to stick to it as best as possible because I know I’m happiest when I do. I went through a period where I told myself I didn’t have time to keep running or CrossFitting as I was making these big life changes, but I quickly got out of that mindset. When you’re making any kind of big life change, remember to try to maintain as much of your routine as possible so that you continue to fuel your own “peace and calm.”
4. Let the little things make you happy.
It might sound nuts, but I have a bit of an obsession with water bottles and coffee mugs. For some reason, shopping for a water bottle or coffee mug has always made me happy. At some point, I realized this was a little weird, but right now, going through this life change, I’ve chosen to embrace it. As you know, I’m getting rid of my stuff, so buying more coffee mugs didn’t seem prudent, but I knew I did need a really good collapsible water bottle. So I just bought this nifty little water bottlethat folds right up! And it makes me happy, damn it! While you may not get the same sick pleasure of out water bottle and coffee mug shopping as I do, it’s important to remember that during times of big transitions, little things will make you really happy and you should let them!
5. Hydrate, get enough sleep, and practice self-care.
Don’t neglect the things that seem really basic: make sure you are getting enough calories (the good kinds of calories), make sure you are eating your vegetables and hydrating and sleeping enough. While it may sound like common sense advice, in all the excitement and activity of preparing for a new life, you might forget that you need to put yourself first. There’s no point in going through a huge life change just to be exhausted and worn out when you get to the other side! So make sure you continue to prioritize your health and happiness while you are going through your new journey.
I’m definitely trying to practice what I preach and trying to handle this change well as much as possible! Some days, I do really well and other days, I forget to eat or hydrate or I let myself get really stressed out. I’m trying not to sweat it though, because it’s a process, just like life. Let me know if you have any great tips on handling life change well in the comment box, below!
Image By: Richard Croft