Moving is hard. There is no question. Even when a move is desired and sought-after, it can be overwhelming, stressful, exhausting and difficult. But what about when change arrives that you hadn’t planned… What if you find yourself in a position to move because of health, finances, or the loss of a loved one? The burden of moving becomes even more complex in these situations; change is challenging even when it’s wanted… and more so when it’s not.
In our role as move managers, we see transitions of all shapes and sizes. While moving often feels more daunting with age… there is a silver lining to this seemingly dark and dreary cloud. Did you know that your ability to bounce back from adversity actually improves with age? Scientific research on resiliency verifies that older adults have many advantages over younger generations when it comes to facing adversity and recovering emotionally from life’s challenges.
Does this mean that change is easier than we think? No – but it means that the negative emotions that come with change can be overcome, and that you can rock resiliency better now than you ever have before! The New York Times reports that the qualities of middle and older age can help you effectively manage stressors and move forward; these qualities include but are not limited to: a better ability to regulate emotions, valuable perspective gained from life experiences and concern for future generations.
We know what you are thinking, just because science says it’s true doesn’t mean it’s true for me. Well the even better news is that resiliency is a muscle that can be strengthened, and age gives you the equipment to make it happen. Here are a few ways to build resiliency as you age that will help you climb whatever mountains life makes…
#1: Practice Optimism. It’s easy to feel like you will never recover from an unwanted and undesired circumstance, but try to acknowledge the possibilities that the challenge presents. For example, moving to a smaller home farther from loved ones could mean less house to clean, more time for hobbies and lots of weekend visits to look forward to.
#2: Re-Write Your Story. You might be in a chapter of life you hadn’t imagined, and feel as though your story is no longer your own. While you might be adding or subtracting a few chapters, that novel is still yours to complete – finish it on your terms by making sure that ending still has things that make you happy – though they may occur in a different place or with different people than you planned. Look at where you are at as a bend in the road, but not the end of it.
#3: Recall Your Comebacks. Chances are that you have dealt with adversity before. Maybe you didn’t ever land your dream job, have as many kids as you wanted or get your fantasy degree – but what did you do instead? Reminding yourself that you are capable of turning a lemon into lemonade – or at least drinking it without sugar – is a confidence booster that you CAN overcome this too.
#4: Pass It On. Did you know that supporting others through their setbacks is one of the biggest ways to boost your own resilience?! Any time that you act outside of yourself you are enhancing your own strength, meaning and purpose. Those qualities will carry you through the same challenges you have seen others through, so giving to others is giving yourself a gift to!
Read the complete article “How to Build Resilience in Midlife” on The New York Times for more ways to build your ability to bounce back. But no matter what you take away from this week’s post – we hope you realize that the disadvantages of change pale in comparison to the coping skills you have but don’t give yourself enough credit for!
Please don't hesitate to reach out if we can help you manage the physical, emotional and fundamental aspects of your move and what it means for your life.