I find that often when people are changing schedules, whether it be at their job, with their children, or getting in a new routine due to a change in their lives they often apologize to others for not being as present as they once were.
I've changed schedules quite a few times. When Ethan goes back to school each year, it's a change...the start of a new routine. My husband has recently received a promotion (woo-hoo Chuck!) and yet again, our schedule is being tweaked. It's hard. It takes a toll not only on your body, but your mind as well. While going through all of this I found a few ways that can help you adjust if you're taking on a change or new schedule.
1. Get your sleep
Think you only need 6-7 hours of sleep a night? You may be used to functioning on that much, but if you have recently changed your daily routine- chances are your bedtime routine needs switched up too. Go to bed early. Stay off that phone, and turn off the TV. Drift off to dreamland without electronics and get some solid shut-eye...a full 8 hours is best, for at least a few weeks. If you're like me, this needs to happen every night...forever. If you typically run on a shorter amount your body will get back in the swing of things after a few weeks of adjustment.
2. Clear your schedule
Are you a social butterfly? I love participating in a good happy hour or having plans with friends for a midweek pick me up. In this case, it's not always the best when you're adjusting to a new routine. You need time to focus, unwind, rest and refresh yourself. Take it easy and clear that social calendar for a while. Get together on the weekend. Maybe only run one errand after your day then head home to rest. Don't over commit yourself while you're adjusting, it's just too much. Don't feel bad, you need time to focus on you. True friends will understand.
3. Prepare for success
Establish a routine within your routine. Everyone is more successful when they have a plan, it's true. Whether it's setting your clothes out for the week, prepping lunches or starting your day with a big glass of warm lemon water...find out what works best for you and your body. When I wake up and my routine is thrown out of whack, my whole day seems to be crazy. It may take a few extra minutes, but line up your priorities and needs and get on schedule. For me, it's having my clothes and accessories already laid out, my lunch packed, any extra items I need for work being set out on the dining room table and getting out the door 5 minutes early.
4. Give yourself time
Not only do you need time to relax, you need time within this new schedule to fully adjust. Get in your routine for a few weeks, slow down, figure it all out...no one is rushing you to get with the new program. I used to work one night a week, and I swear once I switched to an all daytime schedule it took me a good 3 weeks to feel like everything was right again. Even though it was a positive switch for the better of my overall liking, it still took time to be fully awake those Wednesday mornings and not like I should be on the couch answering blog e-mails from my laptop. It's okay though, we all need time to get in the groove.
Remembering these four steps will help you feel better about the adjustment and remind you that it's okay. You may feel pressure internally or from others, but keep these things in mind and you will be adjusted in no time at all.
What's your best tip for adjusting to a new schedule?