Over the years I’ve worked with many people who have had to downsize, for a variety of reasons.
Ideally, my clients would make a considered and measured decision to downsize.In reality this scenario looks much different.I’m usually contacted after there has been a life event, an illness or an emergency, meaning that my soon to be clients can’t return to their homes.This call comes from a variety of people, including discharge planners in hospitals, health attorneys, guardians, social workers or distraught family members whose loved ones need support.Now.Or even better, yesterday.
Downsizing can be a daunting task for anyone.Multiply this six-fold when you’re not well, are used to being totally independent and yet you find yourself overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.Worse still despite knowing you need to move to where you can get the support you need, you really don’t want to go.
This is the dire situation many of my elderly clients find themselves in.Many don’t have family or friends around to assist with their move.Sometimes I think it’s probably easier for a third party to have the difficult conversations with people about what should and shouldn’t be moved, but if you’re working through this process with family members, here are the steps I follow:
Empathy.Acknowledge this is a difficult time of life and that so many years of memories are intrinsically tied up in the family home of 40 years or more.Assure mum and/or dad they have ultimate control over what goes with them, what is donated and what is disposed of.This is the most important step, as you need to have your parents on board with the changes that will be happening.
Do you ask yourself some of the big questions about being busy and balance? Why is busyness glorified? Why do so many insist on wearing busyness as a badge of honour? Why do we hold ourselves to such impossibly high standards?
I recently listened to a podcast hosted by Mia Freedman of Mama Mia fame, where she mentioned that she has amazing low standards for her life. Things like having friends over for dinner and having burgers on the menu. Not a homemade extravaganza, but take away burgers. I have to state now - I love this woman!
Now, for us mere mortals, we too can take the pressure off ourselves. If you're keen to ditch the overwhelm and get off that busyness hamster wheel, try these tips:
Firstly, ban the “busy”. When you’re asked how your day is going, don’t automatically reply with “busy”. Using words like “busy”, “hectic and “crazy” can actually make you feel more overwhelmed! Change your language and watch what happens!