Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Stress and Transition: Survival Tips

Which I'm learning as I go. And which are subject to revision.

Here are a few things that I've found help in transitions such as our current move, by trial and error.

1. Pace yourself. Take breaks when necessary. Even take a day off if you're really zapped. You'll get more done by resting as needed than you will pushing through exhaustion. (Yes, I should be in bed.) Take a short break to do something fun.

2. Give the kids some ownership in the situation. Today I gave Elizabeth 2 boxes for the toys remaining in her room. I told her she could pack them any time she wanted, as long as it was done before the movers arrive on Saturday. This seemed to help her a lot. She feels she has a bit of control in a world where everything feels insane. (OK, it is insane.)

3. Give extra hugs. Snuggle more. Midday hugs gave me strength to get through the rest of today.

4. Stay hydrated. Ummm, need to work on this one.

5. Realize it's OK to be sad. Even the best of transitions usually involve some kind of loss. It's normal to mourn those losses.

6. Take comfort in domestic rhythms. Vacuuming, folding clothes, and doing dishes have kept me sane these past weeks. Also blogging. I've also tried to keep the kids' rooms as normal as possible till the last minute so they can have one place that's comfortable and familiar.

7. Give your children things to look forward to. As long as they are continually looking forward to some small pleasure, such as supper with friends, they don't get too bogged down in the overwhelming pressures of the moment.

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