We all thrive off of routine in our lives. But what about when something unexpected happens and your plans have to *gasp!* CHANGE?!?? You can be as proactive as you want, and plan ahead all you want, but sometimes the universe just feels like throwing a wrench in your day.
Imagine that happening to you, right now. How does it feel? Not good, I’m guessing.
For many individuals with autism, anxiety can be a major issue. Unpredictability can be scary, so knowing when things are happening can alleviate some of that worry. The world is hectic, and overwhelming, and fast-paced. Having some form of structure throughout the day is helpful, but life can’t always be structured, and there are times when we need to be flexible. Some changes in routine can be easier to handle than others, but I’ve got a list of tools to try if you or someone you know needs some help being more flexible on those not-so-easy days.
5 Ways to Cope with Changes in Routine
- Make a list with things you can control on one side, and things you can’t on the other.
Remember that worrying about the things you can’t control is pointless.
- Talk to someone.
For kids, talk to an adult. For adults, talk to a friend, colleague, family member, maybe even a kid (seeing things through a kid’s perspective sometimes helps avoid overthinking).
- Find the silver lining.
Maybe you’re missing out on something you had planned, but maybe what’s in your future is something even better!
- Use positive self-talk.
Adopt a confident mantra like, “I can do this”.
- Remember that it’s okay to feel frustrated when plans change.
Routines are important, but life happens, and there are times when we need to think more flexibly.
Now, I know that for some kids it’s not as easy as just talking yourself through it, and that’s why I’ve created a board game that helps practice dealing with changes in routines. You can purchase it HERE.
How do you or your family deal with changes in routine? Leave a comment!