Managing Home Buying Stress

I have been composing this post about real estate stress for the past 2 1/2 months.  That’s also the length of time it has taken me to find a new house, put in an offer, sell my old house and move all my (and my family’s!) junk the couple miles across town to our new digs.  Funny it took me just a sentence to describe what has been a grueling, extremely stressful and altogether emotionally taxing period in life.

As I was going through all the ups and downs, I kept trying to use the stress management tips I offer in this blog and in my office (take deep breaths, long walks and carve out time for yourself!).  Guess what? None of them worked.  All I could think about was: “What if this all falls apart?”  “What if the buyers (or sellers) change their minds?”  “What is the house burns down?”  “What if I lose my mind before this is all over?”

Clearly new stress management tips were in order.  Here’s what I came up with:

Find an awesome realtor.  I was lucky enough to have a family friend who’s a realtor.  I had worked with him before and knew he had the patience to put up with my seriously poor stress management skills.  Working with a professional who was calm and trustworthy gave me confidence, knowing that my interests were being represented in the best way possible. Phew. One less thing to worry about!

Exercise. Like nobody’s business.  One of the only things I found even remotely stress-relieving during the past couple of months was really intense exercise.  So intense that I couldn’t talk or think about anything other than making it to the end of the workout.  This might not be a good long-term stress management strategy, but it gave me moments of stress relief that were well worth the sore muscles!

Talk to people who don’t care.   It didn’t matter whether I was with my mom, my husband, my kids’ teachers or my neighbors: I found myself talking about real estate ALL THE TIME!  How annoying is that?  I was able to catch a moment of relief when talking to people who didn’t care about (or wouldn’t put up with) my real estate rantings.  Sometimes it was my office building mates, other times it was the grocery clerk – regardless, it was nice to re-enter reality once in a while and realize not everyone’s life revolved around my home sale. Duh.

Quit watching HGTV.  I am sad to say that my tried-and-true stress management strategy of watching House Hunters failed me when I needed it most.  For the past 10+ years I have found solace in the show, but not this time.  I ended up getting angry (and even more stressed) at the happy home buyers who showed not a shred of worry!  There were no tears, sleepless nights or un-provoked rants to be found!  Do you mean this “reality show” isn’t representative of reality after all? Good grief.

Listen to loud music that has nothing to do with home buying.  Similar to exercising like Jillian Michaels, I found that listening to music gave me some moments of peace.  But this called for a different type of music: nothing “soothing” or sappy would do.  Instead I turned to songs that had absolutely nothing to do with the process on my mind.  I listened to songs like this.  After all, there’s not much that could be further from my real  life, than pop stars trolling South Florida clubs for some…ahem…companionship.

Want more ideas for managing stress? Check some out here.

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