Let’s talk about change for a minute.
This is our last week of school until Fall.
Change of routine is hard for me.
It seems like it takes about a month for my mind to adjust and feel comfortable in my new routine.
Brian recently changed jobs, so I’m still getting used to his new work schedule, and I’ve been dreading school getting out.
Not because I don’t want the kids around – I enjoy summer, and we do fun things together; it’s simply a change in routine that I struggle with.
I didn’t notice it before I started blogging and creating digital content.
I was a stay home mom for 16 years. No scheduled jobs, no serious projects, deadlines, or the same type of mental work that goes into writing an essay.
Schedule changes didn’t bother me as much back then.
But now that I have times when I need to sit down and focus on things, whether it’s writing an email or video script, it’s tough to do that with kids home all the time and interrupt my train of thought.
June is going to be so busy – we have driver’s ed, swim lessons, summer camp, all good things. But it’s busy.
When life feels busy and unpredictable, I tend to have the things that I cling to. And one of them is cleaning. I clean, I organize, and sometimes I even redecorate just because it gives me something that I can focus on and control.
It’s helped me to realize, at least know why I feel off.
So here are a few things that have helped me with handling change.
Acknowledging that, yep, this is what’s going on. So when I have off days and I just feel like I can’t get my thoughts together, and gosh, I don’t know why I just can’t function today, oh well, it’s just the change of routine. I’m just adjusting to it. It’s okay, cut myself some slack. I’m gonna be all right.
Give yourself permission to feel feelings
I tend to just feel lost. I don’t know what to focus on. I’m like The Emperor’s New Groove, “You threw off my groove!”
Every time we have a scheduled change, whether it’s Brian at work or the kids with school or whatever it is, every time there’s a schedule change, I feel like my groove is off.
Some feelings that might be present are frustration, anger, loneliness, sadness, and jealousy. Let me know in the comments what other feelings you recognize during these times.
Put things in perspective
I can fall into the self-pity trap of, “Oh, poor me, my life sucks right now.”
But if I put it in perspective, no! I have a wonderful life.
I have a wonderful husband. I have great kids. We have these good relationships. I can enjoy the garden, especially through the summer. I can be outside and work in the garden. I can visit with my grandkids. I have time and ability to sit down and read. I have such freedom to cook the things I want and freedom with my time that I don’t have to be at work every day.
And during the summer, I can be home and enjoy my kids and parenting my kids because this job that I have is very flexible, which is wonderful.
All of those things are so wonderful.
Just thinking about that helps put it in perspective and realize it’s not as bad as I feel like it is.
Accept the change
We can accept it and we can go through the day.
I don’t have to have everything planned.
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
Have something to look forward to
We have a vacation planned this summer, we’re going to visit the west coast, see our oldest son and his family.
Having something to anticipate is so helpful because it gives us something to look forward to in the near future, instead of focusing on the discomfort of “now.”
Having something to look forward to makes everything else seem easier.
Summer is easier for me to slow down because I can get a glass of water and I can go sit on the front porch, and I can enjoy being outside. I can look at the flowers growing. I can watch the birds. I can see the squirrels and hear the breeze, all of that.
And that really just, ah, it makes me feel good.
Take time to take a walk. Sip your favorite beverage and think about the flavor. Read a book. Light a candle or sit by a firepit. Take some deep breaths. Write out your thoughts in a journal.
These are the strategies I use to cope with change because change is inevitable in our lives.
It happens all the time, and we can never maintain a perfectly consistent routine. That’s just not normal!
Washing machines break, cars need repairs, people get sick, jobs change, and schools change. Common occurrences that disrupt our routines.
Anyway, these are the techniques I’ve discovered that help me navigate change, and I wanted to share them with you.
Please let me know in the comments if you struggle with change and if you have any strategies that make it easier for you to cope.