Keeping a Schedule in Times of Change

September tends to bring lots of changes - perhaps you’re having a third quarter review at work, your kids are returning to school, or your vacation time is coming to an end. We adjust to our “almost the end of the year” mode - with only 4 months left in 2022, you may be feeling pressure to achieve certain goals you had for this year. Sometimes, these goals bring along big life changes, like moving into a new home or starting a new career.  What happens, though, if you’re having a hard time adjusting to a new, big change? Life transitions can be challenging for a number of reasons. Many transitions, like children leaving for college for the first time, represent a huge change in our lives. Other transitions, like having to pack up an entire house and unpack in a new one, can bring along intense stress. Finally, some changes are unexpected - if this is the time of year your work is making new decisions, you could find yourself promoted, demoted, fired, or with a raise - who knows!  One of the best ways to reduce the stress in a big change is to find normalcy in a consistent schedule. Having a consistent schedule helps us to have something familiar, and maybe fun, to look forward to. Even if we change jobs, our kids go to school, or we move, there are things we can schedule each day to maintain a sense of normalcy. Need some ideas on how to keep your schedule consistent in a transition period? Check out three tips below from Therapy Beyond Healing! Wake Up At the Same Time Daily One thing you can do, regardless of change, is wake up at the same time every day (unless your job makes it so you absolutely can’t, like a night shift nurse!). Even if your job changes hours or your kids have to get to school earlier, you can adjust your wake-up time and then consistently stick to it.  Aside from normalcy, waking up at the same time every day has shown to provide health benefits. Just some of these benefits include a better circadian rhythm, better digestion and immune system, better concentration, and improved emotional stability. There’s plenty of reasons to stick to your daily alarm! Schedule a Hobby At the Same Time Weekly Having a hobby you can keep consistent even through times of change is a great way to add something familiar into your routine. For example, Saturdays at 2pm may be the perfect time for you to crochet. Wednesdays at 7pm may be the time the whole family gathers to watch your favorite game show. You may attend a religious service at the same time weekly, and if you move away, you may continue to attend virtually or find a new religious service at the same time.  You can practice this habit daily, as well; for example, the last ten minutes before bed may be your daily gratitude journaling time. The first ten minutes after you wake up may be meditation time. You may stick to taking your lunch break at 12pm daily. Any way you choose, you can add weekly or daily events to maintain a sense of normalcy! Prioritize Social Connections When we feel overwhelmed by change, it’s easy to let social connections fall to the wayside. Instead, keep your friends and family in your calendar! This can easily be combined with our last tip; schedule a weekly phone call, video chat, or in-person meetup with at least one friend or family member. Even if you move away or your work hours change, try to prioritize some form of weekly connection with your friends and family. Social connections are good not only to maintain normalcy and familiarity, but to improve our mental health. Connecting with others improves our self-esteem, our mental health, our empathy, and our ability to regulate emotions. Connection is good for you! We hope this blog helped you learn how to maintain normalcy through scheduling when going through a life transition! If you’re looking for more free mental health tips, check out @TalksWithLindaT on TikTok. If you’re looking for a mental health professional to talk to, we can do that, too! Reach out today by emailing to schedule an initial appointment to talk about your goals in therapy. We look forward to hearing from you!