Your Berkshire home has sold and now comes the really hard part. Moving away, even if that means moving across town or to another state. The result is stressful. Moving falls into the category of major life events. All change is stressful whether the stress is considered good or bad will depend on the cause of the change. Moving to a new job or establishing your own home can be exciting and much anticipated. Moving because of divorce, illness or death of a parent or partner can result in a double dose of anxiety when the situation is already at the breaking point.
Saying goodbye to friends that have supported you through years of change is difficult in the best times and painful in the worst cases. Allow yourself time to say goodbye in ways that show friends how much you treasure the memories of their friendship and support. Spend time with your memories by walking through your neighborhood and remembering growing children, loved pets and parties at neighborhood homes. Relive those moments. Someone once said "do not grieve because the past is gone, celebrate because you had the gift of having lived those precious moments"
Give yourself time to plan ahead. Allowing at least 8 weeks to organize, pack and clear out clutter is the least you should allow if possible. Ask for help. Many of your friends and neighbors have been through a move and each one of them understand deeply your anxiety and stress as you prepare to leave memories and home. Even one hour can be useful if you have created a list of things to do. Pick something simple to ask for help with first. Remember if you are moving to another city or state this could be the last chance you have to spend time with a friend or neighbor and what better way than to ask for help.
De-cluttering can be the basis of increased anxiety especially if good memories surround the items that pack your closets and storage bins. If the move is a forced one (death, divorce, illness) don't be too hasty to give up items with good memories attached. The increased cost of moving the items will be worth it, if the items are a comfort to you in the first months after you arrive in your new home. When you are ready to part with the items you will know it instinctively and release them with peace of mind.
Treat yourself gently. If you need rest, get a nap or sleep extra hours. Eat a healthy diet. Get exercise. Stress reduces the body's ability to heal itself and can increase your susceptibility to common infections such as cold or flu. Take vitamins and drink plenty of water. Be proactive in taking care of yourself first so that you will be able to take care of others.
Be prepared to feel uprooted and lost for a while. All of your precious items will be packed away in cardboard boxes and you may have to live out of cardboard boxes for a while. It will take a while before your new home feels like home. Moments will come when you long for what you left behind and when you want your old way of life and previous home back. Accept this and be gentle to yourself. Even as adults we all get homesick. Treat yourself as you would a homesick child, comfort yourself and assure yourself that it will get better.
Last but not the least go with the flow. Things will go wrong. Things will not always be in the box you thought they were in. Furniture will not fit the rooms they are intended for. Broken or chipped china can happen. When you are homesick and tired all these things can seem like a mountain to climb. Stop, relax and go on to something that you can control. Go with the flow.