There are few things in life as stressful as moving from one place to another, whether you are moving across town or across the country; whether you are looking forward to the move or wishing you could stay where you are. Moving is a change. Change creates stress. Often, stress creates illness. There are a several ways to make the move smoother and to combat the inevitable stress that accompanies change.
The following tactics have been developed over time. In the past twenty years, I've moved eleven times, always to a better place, whether I thought so at the time or not. Either way, moving was traumatic to my system.
The first few moves I rushed didn't take care of myself and became ill. The several weeks of illness gave me the time I needed to recover from the move rather than taking the time, a few minutes here and there throughout the day to avoid getting sick.
The next few moves, I began to learn the relationship between the trauma of moving and the debilitating illness I had afterward and I slowed down, got organized and asked for help.
Five of the last seven moves have been across the county which included a spouse, pregnancies, kids, and dogs. We all survived and remained healthy throughout the entire process.
The move when I was eight and a half months pregnant is memorable because I was also preparing for finals at the university, and chasing a very active 18 month old. But I wasn't as stressed as previous moves. What had changed is that I had learned about the moving process and had taken advantage of some very old herb wisdom that I would like to share with anyone who would care to know.
The following is the result of my experience. I would like to say that if you have any health concern, consult with your health practitioner. If you are pregnant consult with your midwife before taking any herbal preparation, the life within you is extremely sensitive to everything you put into your body.
Preparation for the move. Planning for your move can save countless aggravations. Make a list of all the things you need to do. Everything should be on the list, from mailing change of address cards to calling the utilities.
Include in your plans, time to take an extra bath or spend time with a supportive friend.
Before you pack, look through your herb cupboard; make sure that you have plenty of everything you use regularly, plus an additional one month supply. The additional herbs will carry you through until you have found a new herb supplier in your new neighborhood.
Packing is also a good time to throw things away, give unneeded items to a local thrift store or friends. The fewer extra things that are moved the fewer hassles you'll have with the move.
If you don't already have these herbs in your pantry, make a special trip to your herb store and make sure that you have them to get you through the move.
Chamomile has a calming influence. In those moments when you feel up-tight sit down and have a cup of chamomile tea.
Pennyroyal helps the nervous system maintain a balance; it also has a sedative effect. *Do not use this if you are pregnant.*
Echinacea helps promote white blood cells and helps the immune system.
Valerian is known to relieve nervous tension.
Peppermint is a stimulant. It is a good to drink in the morning, for that jump start on the day.
Making your morning tea, mix 2 parts Peppermint with 1 part of Echinacea to start your day. Place 1 teaspoon of the tea mixture in a tea strainer to 1 cup of boiling water, infuse. A simple way to infuse your tea is to pour boiling water over the strainer into a cup then place the saucer over the top of the cup for several minutes.
Keep this anti-stress tea handy for stressful moments, mix equal parts Peppermint, Echinacea and Valerian. Infuse 1 teaspoon of tea with a strainer to 1 cup of boiling water.
Relaxing in the evening is essential. Try this evening tea. Mix 2
parts Chamomile with 1 part Echinacea. Infuse 1 teaspoon of herbal tea to 1 cup of boiling water.
Keeping things as simple as possible throughout your move, you may want to mix several batches of the different teas and place them in empty heat sealable tea bags, or prepare an entire teapot or thermos full of the herbal mixture you enjoy or need the most, so it will be ready for you any time.
Proper diet and hydration gives you the nutrients your body needs to get through this transition. Drink plenty of water and keep snacks, like dried fruit and nuts, available. Mealtime is a good time to sit, relax and plan the next portion of the moving process. It is more important in the long run to eat a meal than unpack a box. The box isn't going anywhere. It will be there when you return. Taking the time you need to refuel will give you the energy you need to complete your task.
Whenever people offer help, accept it. If nobody offers, ask for the help you need. Even if you do all the actual packing, having someone to talk while you pack can be advantageous to your overall attitude. If you have children, involve them as much as possible. Kids love to help. Keep things in perspective. A broken dish can be replaced. Saying good-bye to friends doesn't mean forever.
When the old passes, it gives room in your life for new and wonderful people, places or things to replace them, if you are open...to the adventure.
Lust, John. The Herb Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1974.
Mabey, Richard. The New Age Herbalist. New York: Collier Books, 1980.