We get it, we really do.
One of the chief reasons people shy away from a post-retirement move is the fear that life will change dramatically. And the truth is that, yes, it will. But contrary to what that little voice inside your head (or that of your loved one) says, downsizing and making a move does NOT have to be a negative experience. In fact, for most, it is something they say they wish they would have done much sooner!
In our guide “Downsizing Made Easy,” we’ve outlined a number of (proven) ways to adjust to a move, whether it’s to an assisted living community across town in OKC or out-of-state to live with adult children. Here’s what you should know:
Reach out to family, friends and others to share your experience. A key factor in any life change is having a supportive network of people. Identify and keep close contact with those people in your life whom you trust and in whom you can confide. Share with them the joy or sadness you may be experiencing. For many, the moving process begins many months before the actual move. This is the time to begin processing and dealing with the many emotions that are felt in response to the upcoming lifestyle change.
Stay active or get active. If you are fortunate enough to have been involved in a pleasurable hobby, social club, or church, don’t quit just because you have made a change in your residence. When moving locally, make prior arrangements to let friends know you will continue to be involved and, if needed, recruit help with transportation. If you have moved to a new city or away from your “old stomping grounds,” it is absolutely necessary that you become involved as soon as you get settled. Once the last box is unpacked and you have found a place for your toothbrush, find a new church, a local dance group, a travel club or seek out new activities and become involved in your new community.
Keep in touch with family and friends. Hang on to your address book and drop a note or email to family and friends from time to time. It is recommended that you take at least an hour a week to maintain contact with the people you care about. This will not only be good for you, it will also be good for them. Our rule of thumb is that, for every person you lose contact with due to a move, death, or other circumstance, you must meet one new person.
Focus on physical activity and good nutrition. It is a scientific fact that physical exercise (done correctly) reduces stress, increases strength, reduces risk for falls, improves mood and sleep, and is positively correlated to healthy lifestyles. Many senior living communities offer a physical fitness program or transportation to a local fitness center. Make it a point to exercise regularly and visit with your physician about the best program to suit your personal fitness goals. Just as physical activity is important, proper nutrition is what gives us the energy needed to think clearly, heal ourselves, strengthen our bones and muscles, and maintain a positive mental health. You may not feel hungry, but your body needs nourishment, so eat something healthy even if it is a small snack 5 to 6 times throughout the day.
These suggestions and more for gliding successfully through a late-in-life move are included in our guide “Downsizing Made Easy.” Call us to schedule your free consultation and get a complimentary copy of this step-by-step guide.
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