Whether you’re transitioning from one therapist to the next, from summer to school, or from unemployment to a new job, changes in routine can be difficult to manage. Here are some tips to make transitions easier to handle:
♫ Tune in – Determine how your daily routines need to change and write them down. Make a list of steps for getting ready in the morning and see if there is anything that can be done the night before to make mornings easier. For instance, you can lay out your clothes, prepare the back pack and set it by the door, make your lunch, set your alarm, and put your keys and wallet together the night before. In the morning, you just need to get dressed, brush your teeth, wash your face, and eat breakfast. Then you can get your things that you set by the door and go! Establish these routines for your child and write them down or take pictures of each step for your child and put them on a poster board in the order they need to be completed. Put on some lively music and see if he can complete the steps before the end of a song.
♫ Tune up – What is going to cause you the most stress during this transition? Will it be the new routine? Will it be having to get up earlier than you did this summer? Will it be figuring out the new “set of rules” that go with the new opportunity? Put on some relaxing music and sit down with a cup of something soothing (I prefer hot tea, even in this 1,000 degree heat) and some paper and make a list of things on your mind for 10 minutes. Then prioritize them by what needs to get done today, this week, next month, or sometime when life is perfect. When the music is over, get up and do one thing on your list.
♫ Tune out – I didn’t get this newsletter out two weeks ago when I wanted to. Perhaps the school year didn’t start out perfectly with everyone sitting at the breakfast table well in advance of the time to leave and the house isn’t spotless. Just because we aren’t “perfectly” prepared for the transition doesn’t mean we can’t start now. So get rid of perfectionism and just start where you are, right now. Be kind to yourself. Your children will learn how to treat themselves and others by how they see you treating yourself. So take good care of yourself! Tonight right after dinner, put on some relaxing music, turn of the TV and laptops, plug the phones in, lay out your clothes for tomorrow, help your children pick out clothes, get the backpacks and your briefcase by the door, put your keys and purse together, make the lunches, get ready for bed, and spend some time relaxing with your family. Then go to bed 30 minutes earlier than you did last night.