You may remember I get a little crazy about shit sometimes, and this school stuff was up there.
The start times were different, the multiple drop offs, organising my support network regarding the pick ups, before school care, even having the right amount of uniforms so as not to be stressed and doing washing at 10pm in a right panicky state.
Anxiety over change doesn’t just need to be about starting school, this can be about going on holiday, changing jobs, moving house. Any routine change can mess with your brain-space.
Basically, I just get my knicks in a knot about the unknown and I like to torture myself about for months leading up about all of the things that might possible wrong, but really very rarely ever do.
But surely, there is another way?
After a long chat with my boyfriend (oh yeah, did I mention we got back together a couple of months ago? Well, we did and it’s rather awesome thanks), and we came up with strategies to help stop anxiety around new routines.
Talk about the worries that are causing the anxiety
Admittedly, you open yourself up to someone screwing their face up and saying “really?? You really worry about THAT???, but it’s also good just to get that shit out of your head, and off your chest.
You can work out which are real worries and which are probably unlikely scenarios that you don’t really need to waste precious worrying time on.
Take all of the worries and right them down
A worry in your head is like a merry-go-round horse with diarrhoea. It goes around, and around, playing a freaky song, leaving stinky mess everywhere and you can’t focus on it properly, or anything for that matter.
A problem written down is far more manageable. A list of problems or worries is actually less scary than the shit swimming in your head.
This school business required some organisation. School uniforms bought and before school care sorted. Pick-ups and drop-offs organised around work.
I left stuff to the last minute (not my fault, an issue with the uniform supplier which stressed me out), but I could have organised before school care earlier. Organising stuff so you can tick it off your list helps you to feel like you’re in control of the situation.
Being in control helps you to feel less anxious.
Lunches organised the day before, the next day’s outfits laid out.
I’m a dichotomy because I’m a control freak but I’m mega disorganised, but don’t tell anyone, ok? I think I have them all fooled.
Ask for help
This comes up in all of my anxiety posts. I cannot impress upon you how important asking for help is in managing anxiety….for me anyway. Your anxiety is your own beast with its own name and scary teeth.
I asked my boss if I could work from home so help D Man settle in and for us to get used to the new routine. You may not have an awesome boss who just gets it, so you may need to ask someone else to help you. I asked Mister H to help more, my boyfriend too…just until everyone was settled into the new routine.
Feeling like I’m paddling upstream on my own is the fastest way for me to feel my heart racing and my mouth clagging and the on the merry-go-round of diarrhoea begins again.
Get kids to do their bit
Teaching kids to be independent will only help you in the long run, so making them responsible for dressing themselves, cleaning their breakfast dishes to the sink, or being responsible for their school bags will put you on the road to winning. Less for you to do, equals less stress.
Now, things get easier in the getting ready department as your kids get older, you won’t be helping your 16 year old with shoe laces so remember to bear their ages in mind when you set their tasks.
This is a work in progress for me, I still yell about putting shoes on about 5 million times a morning.
Keep a wall calendar, and use it
Trying to remember all of the dates of school things, deadlines, social engagements….that MESSES with my brain. The phone calendar doesn’t do it for me, and a day to day diary doesn’t either, I’m a good old-fashioned wall calendar kind of girl.
If you don’t use a wall calendar, that’s fine. I’m not the Know All of Diarising Life, I’m merely suggesting you take the dates out of your head, and write them all down somewhere easily visible. Unless you’re Rainman and totes happy with the figures in your head.
This is my new strategy that has been in pace for one week.
So far, I suck at it, however, practice makes perfect with this stuff. If you have any tips to add to this, feel free to let me know so I can get a grip on life, and unknot my knickers.