Moving House With Lupus
Moving house is an incredibly stressful experience, with or without lupus. Because of this, it can exacerbate your symptoms and it is important that you take it slowly and listen to your body.
Coincidentally, I am writing this article as I am getting ready to move rooms in my existing house, so I have compiled a list of tips and tricks to keep you feeling less stressed and your lupus under control.
Not everyone can afford this “luxury” (very sad that in today’s society, getting your body what it needs is a luxury, but I digress…), but if you can, it is very important to the moving process.
Resting beforehand will help you conserve your energy, so when the time comes to start moving your things, you will be ready and raring to go, instead of feeling sluggish and lazy. Additionally, for me, I am in much more pain if I do not have rest, so it is especially important for me to get in as much as possible.
Sectioning It Off and Dividing It Up
This is one of the few things that keep me from going insane when I am undertaking a big project. If you make plans to move a little bit each day, or one room at a time, it can seem far less stressful. Instead of saying “I am moving today,” which can further increase anxiety which will then increase symptoms, plan to do it over time.
Before the big day, prepare by going through boxes and sorting through things you need and don’t need so it isn’t all left to the last minute. You can even sort through things when you have spare moments in front of the television or with music on to make it less of a tedious task.
Sometimes, I find that writing down what I am doing when on a calendar in my phone or in hard copy makes things much easier to wrap my head around. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your house doesn’t have to be moved in a day, either!
Ask for Help
Know when it is too much to do on your own, and when you need to ask for help.
This can be difficult, especially for people like me who like it do it all on their own. But instead of being a “brave soldier,” ask for help if it seems to be too much.
Don’t, however, wait until the last minute to ask, when you’re already in crisis mode. Instead, ask family and friends several days in advance so that everyone will be on the same page. When people don’t have lupus, life can totally get in the way, so you’ll want to plan well in advance.
Take Your Medicine
This may sound like a no-brainer, but sometimes I forget to take my medication, which can make me even more tired or put me in more pain. Remind yourself on your phone or with an alarm if you have to, just don’t forget to take the medication.
And while we’re on the subject of medicine, be vigilant with your other painkillers and keep some non-steroid painkillers on hand for when your lupus joint pain acts up. Stress and overdoing it can lead to even more pain, so be sure you are well prepared.
Set Up Your Bed First
It can be tempting to make this the very last thing you set up, but in my experience, do this first when you have lupus. This way, you’ll be able to fall asleep or nap if need be, or be able to take a quiet break away from all of the noise and shuffle while the moving is going on.
If you can’t set up your bed in your new place right away, make sure you have somewhere quiet you can go to nap if necessary, or at least unwind. Your body will tell you when it needs to take a break, so definitely listen to it.
With my level of lupus fatigue, napping has become one of my favorite activities. When you’re moving around all day and getting physical, make sure you have time and space for a nap during the moving process. Schedule one in if you have to, just to be sure that you’ll get it in.
Even if you’re not tired, force yourself to take one (harkening back to the old school preschool days when no one wanted to take a nap!) so you will be in fighting form for finishing out the move.
Hiring a Professional
For many people (and especially people with lupus on disability), money is tight. However, there is a time and a place to splurge, and sometimes hiring professionals can be the best way to go.
Although it may put a small dent in your bank account, remember this can save you a ton of energy down the line and can really help you ensure you stay happy and healthy throughout the moving process.
A professional can help pace you and ensure you don’t go overboard, so it may be worth considering, especially if your friends and family aren’t able to help. Or, to cut down on the cost, you can choose to hire a professional simply for a small portion of the move or just to move specific bigger items.
Have a Plan for Afterward
In addition to making sure you have time to rest when you’re all done moving, you should also create a plan for unpacking and decorating your new home. Instead of trying to take it on all at once, I advocate going slowly and surely (as I always do!).
Just like you did with packing up and moving specific rooms at a time, don’t try and unpack everything at once. Instead, make a goal to do one room today and another tomorrow, etc., to minimalize the stress.
Organization can be tricky with everything you own all over the place. However, it is important to know where certain things, like your medicine, are at all times. Create a box or designate a specific space for the things you cannot lose and know you’ll need from the first night in your new house or apartment. That way, you won’t be tearing through boxes at midnight looking for your lupus medication and toothbrush!