I found that the following tips might be useful if you have to face situations like:
- Looking for a new job
- Moving or relocating to a new country/ city / area
- Looking for a place to live
- Waiting for important news / results
- Traveling / Backpacking
- Dealing with a slower / crappy internet connection
Not sure these tips would be very useful while hiding in a transit area in a Russian airport, but it might be useful to give it a go …
I have been living out of my suitcase and pretty much had to go through all the above in only three weeks. Not that anything was completely new to me but I thought this time I dealt better with things. I have to confess that I had the worse pain in my middle back / chest for a week and I am pretty sure it was related to the move but it seems to be gone now, so it does not matter any more 😉
This list of advice is pretty basic, simple and cheap but I believe always important to keep in mind. During the preparation time and transition period I used the following tips to make sure I was OK going through all these changes:
- Supplementation. Supplements can be very useful but I do not want to personally rely on them all the time. When you don’t get to eat as healthy as you could, a good multivitamin or B complex might help. Under physical or mental stress, the B vitamins are usually the first ones to be depleted. Taking a good B complex will help cover your basis with any deficiency especially in terms of energy levels or coping better with anxiety. B-vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folate and vitamin B6 and B12. As coenzymes they help with other functions in the body. Depending on your age, gender or physical status, your daily requirements might be different. This is the only supplement I carried with me as I personally prefer to get most of my vitamins and minerals from my food. Unfortunately many soils now depleted in important minerals.
- Keep your tummy happy. The water or food you consume might be quite different from the ones you normally had. It might upset your tummy or you might not feel a 100%. One change at the time. May be don’t go too crazy at once and take your time to try different foods. Chew your food properly, eat slowly and listen to the signals your body sends. It can really improve the way you feel as your belly is now often considered as your second brain!
- Eat seasonal foods and listen to your body. Right now in Perth it is rainy, windy and cold (2 degrees Celsius for me in the morning is cold…). The weather is slightly different from what I used to know so my skin is dry, sensitive and my hair is not happy. While living out of my suitcase and on a budget, I was limited in terms of kilos, supplements and skin products I wanted to carry with me. For the dry hair and skin, I made sure to eat food rich in good fats such as avocados, salmon, nuts, butter, olive or coconut oil. The quality of these foods was more important to me so I tried to find organic products at the local supermarkets or farmer markets. You can even use the oils to remove make-up or moisturize your skin 😉 While I was lucky enough to have a kitchenette to prepare food, I did not feel like spending hours cooking something. To keep us warm I often bought fresh (organic again) soups and then cooked some grass fed minced meat on the side that I added to my soup with some fresh seasonal veggies if possible. Carrots, zucchinis or mushrooms are really easy to prepare and it took less than 15 minutes to have something earthy ready.
- Look after yourself. I took easy steps to keep my immune system strong. Have you ever experienced this feeling of having so much on your plate that you just get sick to make things easier? [read with sarcastic tone obviously]. I personally ate two pieces of fruit rich in vitamin C every day. My favourites in winter are (golden) kiwi, oranges and mandarins as they are so easy to carry with you at all time. I also ate plenty of raw garlic and onions. I hear you… Raw garlic?!!! Yes, raw garlic… For dinner, once my soups / meals were hot and ready I peeled a clove or two of garlic, sprinkled on my food and ate it straight away. I won’t lie to you, it can be a strong flavour. But if you cook or let the garlic rest for too long it loses its immune boosting effect. So basically, the sooner you eat it the better. Eat parsley soon after and that should help to remove any unpleasant smell. Sugar free chewing gums can be another option if you have meetings the day after 😉 You decide if you want to be sick or not. If the whole family eats garlic then no one cannot really complain hehe Foods rich in zinc such as whole grain and seafood are good options too.
- Keep hydrated. Make sure to have plenty of fluid. As it is sometimes harder to drink water with this cold weather, I usually drink plenty of herbal tea through the day. Having a mug / cup you can keep with you takes no room and really help. I found a premium green tea organic and fair trade for breakfast. Good to help me start the day and then after lunch was drinking a caffeine free detox tea made with organic aniseed, fennel and cardarmom tea. Camomille, peppermint or rooibos are also good options in my opinion. If the weather is hot, what about a good gazpacho, iced tea, natural juice, smoothie or homemade lemonade?
- Don’t add any unnecessary stimulants. Things like colas, orange, mint, tea, coffee, alcohol, energy drinks all contain caffeine and can keep you up at night. When you have too much on your mind, the last thing you want is a night of insomnia. Avoiding these substances can be quite useful as after a good night of sleep, I am personally way more positive and can make constructive decisions / plans. Relaxing or ‘sleepy’ teas are good options after dinner. But don’t take them just before going to bed or you might have to get up in the middle of the night :S Good luck falling asleep after that!
- Take it easy and be patient. Rome was not build in one day as they say so appreciate each step of the way. Things don’t always happen the way we want. It took one extra week for our furniture to be delivered, two weeks so they confirm we had been approved for the apartment, three weeks to hear from people I contacted for a position and two months to finalize the logo for *enSALADes*. What can you do to speed the process? Not much in most cases… Just enjoy your time. I personally opted to explore what was around, caught up and met new people, check shops for new furniture or plants / herbs I want to grow on my new balcony. It also gave me time to go running next to the ocean / river, taking the time to stretch, soak a little in the sun, read… Cheap and easy pleasures we can forget about sometimes.
- Don’t work yourself up. Taking decisions can sometimes be quite stressful… Is this the right job for me? What are the co-workers, work condition or job opportunities like? Is this place as good as it seems? What’s the area like? What about the neighbours? Dark or light green? What to do next? I believe it is important to question the most important aspects so you don’t have too many unwanted surprises but you should trust your intuition. You are the only person who can make these decisions. People can advise you but remember YOU will have to deal with the consequences. The classic pros and cons columns on a sheet of paper always work for me to visualize what I really want 😉
- Breathe. Take the time to breathe deeply. Concentrating on your breathe will help you oxygenating your brain and body and it will help to feel better. One technique I like to use when I get anxious is to imagine whatever annoys me as a dark cloud / smoke in my lungs. I deeply breathe in and then exhale as much as I can and imagine / try to visualize the black smoke getting out of my body. I exhale as much as I can so it goes as far away as possible from me and none of this dark annoying smoke remains in me. I repeat the movement two to five times and keep asking myself “Why do I worry?” “When worrying has been helping me at all?” or “Will this matter as much in five years?”…
Have a lovely week-end! I will personally do very little this week-end as for once I can afford this luxury.
How do you deal with changes and transition?
- Byrd-Bredbenner, C, Moe, G, Beshgetoor, D & Berning J 2009, Perspectives in Nutrition, 8th edn, Wardlaw’s. New York.
- Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, Multivitamin/mineral Supplements, viewed 27 July 2013, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/multivitamin-mineral.html