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THE DASH

Insight, wisdom, lessons learned and everything in between to help you find the information you need for smoother transition between diplomatic assignments.

Keeping Routines and Taking Breaks During PCS

Updated: Sep 1


Moving (or as we say, PCSing) feels like one long chore day after another. It's okay that it feels this way, it's kind of meant to, but that's why you have to find a place to take a pause. We recommend to our clients that they thoughtfully manage their time when they are preparing to PCS, and build in time to take breaks.



Just like when you plan for a vacation so that you can mentally refresh and reset, building in a break during PCS time is designed to give your mind and body a chance to recover from the endless tasks. Let your brain relax and calm down from all that is moving. Shifting from productivity mode to relaxation mode can be a challenge. If you don't take those breaks and you aren't mindful about it, you could burn out before you even get to your pack out. And if you've done this before, you know that pack out is just another check box on your list of things to do.


Sticking to your routines during your PCS, is letting your brain take breaks even while being productive. Routines are habits that don't require much thought.


The idea of taking time away from move prep may sound overwhelming. Between work, family commitments, and regular social commitments it can be challenging to figure out how you can squeeze in free time. Have you ever spent a weekend so busy that by Monday you were more tired than you were on Friday afternoon? Speaking from experience, it is much harder to recover from a proverbial PCS weekend. We need to restore our minds and bodies even it is just 20 minutes of quiet.


The great news is that a routine is already a break. Sticking to your routines during your PCS, is letting your brain take breaks even while being productive. Routines are habits that don't require much thought. While a move causes inevitable disruption, routine creates a sense of stability and control.


Build in Breaks & Maintain Routine

Here are some ideas of how you can build in some breaks and maintain a healthy routine.

  • Dedicate one day each week that is solely for you.

  • Keep a central calendar that the entire family uses so you don't overbook yourself.

  • Have a brief family meeting each week to keep tabs on your schedules and also make sure you're all getting enough time off from move prep.

  • Stick to your night time routine even if it means leaving an event before it is over. Your rest is super important.


It can be easy to let the adrenaline keep you going, but you're not a young twenty-something anymore relying on late night coffee runs and your parents' laundry room. You need rest. Plus, humans are creatures of habit, so if you completely disrupt your habits or routines, the impacts will be on your ability to get through your move with a clear mind.





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