Connection- key to successful relocation

Connection. That will be one of the important topics of the workshop I’m facilitating this week in Miri, Malaysia. The topic is International M oving and connection is key there. I can hear you thinking, but Margot, I thought moving is all about letting go, isn’t it? Letting go of people, places, stuff? You are right, it is. And yet, it is all about connection too. Here’s how.

When everything is shifting around you, like when you are moving, do not forget to connect to these 3 things: your partner, your kids and yourself. I call it the 3C model. During moves we are often occupied with the “external stuff,” housing, schools, commute time and cost of living. But partners, kids and yourself are just as important. And yes, they can get lost in a move, especially partners. 

1. Connect to your Partner

Your partner is usually the one nearest when you are having a little meltdown moment during the move. Or when they are not near, it is easy to blame them for not being near. In order to connect, it is important to consciously step out of the negativity. Of course there will be stressful moments during the move, but try to limit taking it out on your partner. You will need each other more than ever upon arrival in the new country.

Connecting to your partner means that you operate as a team during the moving. Communicating and (trying to) staying civil in these stressful circumstances will make your move infinitely easier. Have each other’s back, divide tasks and operate as a team.

Tip: Appreciate each other. Not just in your head, but by actually saying it out loud. I appreciate how you handled X, Y, Z. Thank you. Make time for it, perhaps even every day in the evening when the move is in full swing. It will make a difference.

2. Connect to your kids

Remember those pre-kids days? When it was so easy to move? I do. Just stuffing everything in suitcases, perhaps sending over a few boxes and done. Then, enjoy a tasty Frappuccino at the airport and unlimited movies during the flight.

Once you have kids, that all changes. There are times when you wonder how all those toys will fit into the moving container. There are times when you are supposed to discuss the last essential elements with the moving company representative, but instead you find yourself trying to comfort an inconsolable 6 year old. And there are the times when you discover that your son’s favorite blanket has been accidently packed into a box.

By connecting to your kids I mean involve them in the move, listen to them when they are hurting and make time to join them when they say their goodbyes.

Tip: Teach your kids how to talk about emotions (and learn from that as well). And also know that you do not always have to make their negative emotions go away. Acknowledging their feelings, holding them, just being there for them can be so much more powerful than telling them not to worry and that everything will be just fine.

Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.

  • Yakov Smirnoff
  1. 3. Connect to Yourself

Yup. Of course you do not have time for this. There are endless to do lists. And yet, I challenge you to take time out for yourself every day. Even if it is just a few minutes. Your brain needs time to reset, and your body too. Stepping away from the to do lists for a moment each day will give you clarity and oversight. Try not to fill the time with switching on social media (however tempting), as that does not relax the brain. Go for a short walk, have a cup of tea, do a breathing exercise, write in your moving journal, laugh about the situation or read a funny book, do something that will help you relax.

Moving involves mood swings, and that’s ok. You’re human. Its ok to feel sad, elated or angry at the move. Try and notice it without pushing your feelings away. 

Tip: put a reminder in your phone to take a connection break with yourself.

What about you?

How do you connect to those around you while you move? And how do you connect to yourself?

Do you have a good tip for others that are moving?

Read more about international moving: the phases and the emotions



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The emotional impact of moving- or how I started thinking I did not want to move abroad (Chaos of Moving Part 2)
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Moving with Kids- An Interview with Rubina Anis, MA


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