It happens to all of us.
Suddenly, you have to change plans because your kid is sick or an emergency happens, or, or, or…
Been there, done that.
A few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself in such a situation – my girls were sick and I was running around to doctors’ appointments and pharmacies instead of doing my usual stay-at-home-mom routine.
Today, I wanted to share with you three things I do in my own life whenever I’m faced with a sudden change of plans. These things always help me recover from all the chaos that such days tend to bring. Doing these things helps me relax and bounce back into my usual routine easier.
1) Simplify dinner plans
One of the first things I adjust when my day doesn’t go as planned is our family’s dinner plans. If I originally planned to cook dinner, I try and figure out if we can get away with eating leftovers or take-out instead.
If none of those is an option, I change dinner plans to make sure it’s a meal that’s super easy to cook and won’t take much of my time.
Changing dinner plans frees up a little bit of time in my day so that I can squeeze in extra me-time – something that is super important for my recovery as a highly sensitive person on days that don’t go as planned.
2) Take a transition break
Because I’m a highly sensitive person, it’s mentally exhausting to have days that aren’t planned. I have to mentally prepare myself for busy days in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
So, on days that completely take a wrong turn, I need to prioritize extra self-care time to recover.
Here’s what I do: When I return home (if I’ve been out taking care of unplanned things), I resist the urge to tend to all the things that my home will visually welcome me to do.
Prioritizing myself, instead of rolling up my sleeves and knocking things off my to-do list, I pick only the most important things that absolutely need to be done at that moment. Usually, that just means making sure my kids have their needs met or that a load that was in the wash makes its way to the dryer. Then, I allow myself time to take a break.
After I’ve had a break, I then resume taking care of things, but I limit it to only the things that must be done that day. Because my day was already more stimulating than I anticipated, pushing things off to another day is the best way to ensure that I don’t overwhelm myself before bedtime.
3) Take it easy the following day.
Once life resumes to normal (meaning the unplanned event has passed), I give myself permission to relax and ease my way back into my usual routine.
This typically looks like taking an entire day to reset. I already take a weekly day of rest (Sundays), but I often swap out my days if I need to.
During my day of rest, I avoid social media, emails, chores, and anything that doesn’t absolutely need my time or attention. I allow myself to watch light-hearted movies or shows. I’ll curl up on the sofa with my Kindle. I might even put on my headphones and listen to a podcast. But mostly, I try and do as little as possible.
Even if you aren’t highly sensitive like me, anyone could benefit by taking a day of rest to reset and recharge. But it especially can help you after a day doesn’t go as planned.
It is so important to put in the effort to recover from days that don’t go as planned because it helps me prevent stress from building up.
To recap, here are the ways that I like to recover from an unplanned day:
- Make dinner plans super easy (eat leftovers or pick up take-out if possible)
- Take a transitional break (or breaks) before returning to my days plans
- Plan for a day of rest to recover once the unexpected event has passed
I hope that sharing with you today how I recover from days that don’t go according to plan helps you better manage the stress that such days can bring.
Remember this the next time your day takes a wrong turn: