How To Cope With An Unexpected Change In Routine

Coping with a change in routine can be a bit tricky, but it is doable. In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast I share how you can deal with an unexpected change in routine. And guess what, it’s easier than you think.

Word For Word

Ashley Brown  00:00

[Intro] Routines, my absolute favorite word, but you either love them or you hate them. And either way, I strongly believe that routines can be a springboard for improving your home, yourself and your life. I'm Ashley Brown, and this is the Routine and Things Podcast. In each episode, we'll dive into a specific routine or point of view that will move you closer to enjoying life more and more each day. Trust me, you're gonna want to keep listening, because you're well on your way to getting and staying happy.


Ashley Brown  00:47

Hey, and welcome back for another episode of the Routine and Things Podcast. I'm your host Ashley and today we are going to be talking about how to cope with an unexpected change in routine. Have you ever had your routines have to like change up, switch up because something unexpected came out of the blue? I know you probably have and it can be super frustrating, super annoying, even super frustrating and annoying for your kids as well, especially if it's their routine that gets affected. And so I'm going to share with you how you can cope with that and deal with it.


Ashley Brown  01:29

Before we get into things I would love to give a listener some love today, and that listener is CWash598. She left a review and said "Very useful and practical information. Routines are what I thrive on, but I need a little help at times. This podcast gives some real practical information on how to establish and maintain routines." Thank you so much CWash598 I truly, truly appreciate you leaving the rating and review of the podcast, it means a lot. And I'm so very, very grateful for it.


Ashley Brown  02:07

And if you have been a listener for some time, I want to say thank you. Thank you so much. I mean, it means the world to me that you listen to this podcast. And it also means so much to me not only because you listen, but because you put action towards listening, and that you are getting something out of this that is helping you in your life. So I am truly truly grateful for you being a listener being a part of this community, it means so much and to express my appreciation for you. I'm doing a giveaway! So I'll be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card that you can use however you like. You can use them to help you buy some gifts for Christmas, or to splurge on yourself. But you can use this gift card however you'd like. Wherever you choose, and I am super excited about doing this because I just want to show you some appreciation.


Ashley Brown  03:07

And so in this giveaway to enter, all you have to do is leave a rating and review of the podcast between now and Friday, November 27th. That's it. The winner will be announced here on the podcast the following Monday, November 30th. So if you choose to enter the giveaway by leaving a review, I want to share with a good review looks like and you can review on the iTunes podcast app. So in order to leave a review, what you will do is go to the show. So you have to go to Routine and Things Podcast actual show and scroll down below all the episodes until you see where it says ratings and reviews. FYI, you cannot get to the ratings and reviews through an episode so you have to go through the actual show. So once you get to that area, you will just put a five star rating by clicking on the stars and then you will go to where it says write a review. And you can put a few sentences sharing what you have learned from listening, or what you enjoy the most about the podcast. It doesn't have to be long, just heartfelt and it doesn't take much time at all. So good luck. Good luck. And thanks again for being a part of this community. I cannot wait to announce the winner or Monday. And if you are the winner, you will get more information about how to receive your $20 amazon gift card. Thank you so much for being a part of this community, and for listening to the show.


Ashley Brown  04:44

[AD] Before we continue the conversation today I want to let you know this episode is sponsored by Routine and Things which houses physical and digital products to help you get and stay in your happy place. From beautifully designed notepads that will help you rock your routines to programs that move you towards cultivating the life you want. To shop the collection a link will be in the show notes or you can head to


Ashley Brown  05:11

Alright, so let's go ahead and get back into things. So we are talking about how to cope with an unexpected change in routine, right? Sometimes some things are going to come up there might interfere with your routines. And so how can you get back? How can you cope with this? How can you deal with this so that it doesn't just throw you for a loop and it doesn't get you so much off track, mentally, or even physically in your routines? Like how can you cope? And this question was posed on Instagram from a community member. I love questions. She had expressed on a particular day that she had something to do and it threw off her children's routine which highly frustrated her child and so she wanted to know what could help with this. And even though this was specific to a child, and like tips for a child, all of the advice and suggestions I gave her is really useful for anyone. And so I want to share those with you today. And just a backstory really quickly for this is I used to be super rigid and the reason why I share this is because I want you to understand that flexibility is super important and I had to learn this lesson. I was very rigid at a certain point in my life when I was younger and once I began dating my husband, that is when I started to learn the beauty of flexibility but I also learned to be flexible by being a nurse. And so if you don't know I am a nurse. I don't practice at the bedside anymore, but I have all the skills of a nurse. Nursing is so beautiful and I also teach nursing. So these two experiences in my life shifted me towards becoming flexible, which I am so grateful for. Because I find now that there is so much power in adaptability and flexibility and going with the flow at times. I'm not saying all the time, okay, let's not get it twisted, we still need a little bit of structure in there. But flexibility at times is more important than structure. And so I encourage you to learn how to flex and so that is what I'm going to help you with today.


Ashley Brown  07:35

How can you deal with an unexpected change in your routines? So like I said, it can be super annoying, it can throw off your patterns, throw off your routines, your children can become super frustrated within which then leads to you being frustrated sometimes. But we have to find ways of adjusting. If not, we will cause ourselves more frustration, more stress then we need to. So how do we cope? First, you can take your routine with you. So hear me out. If your unexpected change is like a change in location, you can just move your routine from where you are to where you're going, if that's possible, or at least some of the activities from where you are to where you're going. If that's possible, this can really help. Taking everything with you. You can move the routine from one place to another place so that you don't have to stop or do away with the routine for the day. So this can be really, really helpful. Like an example of this is if you are doing a routine with your kids, or something comes up and it's like, okay, I can't do their learning routine. Are you going to a space where you still could do that learning routine? Or where they still could be on their table if that's a part of their routine? Like can you do that somewhere else or where they can watch their favorite show when you're in that location. If so, move it. It's like even doing work. Like if you have a work routine, and something comes up and it's like, oh my gosh, I have to go get this tire fixed. And I have to sit at the dealership for an hour, can you take your work with you? Can you take your work routine with you? If during the change that comes about, if you can move your routine with you, I would highly suggest you do that. Because this can help to deal with the unexpected change that popped up. So that's number one.


Ashley Brown  09:34

So another way of learning how to cope with an unexpected change in your routines is to take back some control. When a change occurs, we feel a sense that we are not in control. And so that is what causes the unwanted feeling a frustration or annoyance or stress is because we feel like we're out of control like we're not in control of what's going on. And so making some sort of decision or choice gives us back some power in the situation. And the way that we do this is by deciding what to do next about it. Right. So instead of focusing on the change, focus on deciding what you will do next so you can feel powerful in the situation. And this will alleviate some of the frustration for you.


Ashley Brown  10:17

And if this is a routine dealing with your children, your children are super frustrated with the change. What you can do is give them some control by allowing them to make some type of choice or decision. So like, even if they can't watch their favorite show, is it something else that you can take with them? Maybe can you take like one of their toys instead? You can ask them, "even though you can't watch your favorite show, you can take one of your favorite toys, which one would you like to take", and this gives them some sense of control in the situation, which can be really, really helpful. So taking back some control can really benefit you if you have an unexpectancy that comes up that kind of just takes you off from your routine.


Ashley Brown  11:04

Next is to refocus your attention. Refocus your attention. So this just means focus on what's good about the change or what's positive in the situation. Because focusing on the negative will only drive negative feelings. You have to stay focused on the positive. Refocus your attention. I shared this before. Practicing gratitude is really important. Because that will keep you in the present moment. Keep you grateful for what's around you, keep you in a positive perspective. Also, you can refocus your attention by doing something you enjoy in the time you're not able to do your routine. So even if you have to like do away with your routine because something comes into play, do something that you enjoy instead in that time. And this is basically a distraction, because that refocuses your attention too.


Ashley Brown  12:05

And this can be super helpful for your children as well. Because many times they will forget that the routine exists if you redirect their attention on something else that they enjoy doing. So refocus your attention on something different. Either on something that brings you joy, as a distraction, you know, something fun, or you can refocus your attention by remaining grateful and really thinking about what's the positive in the situation.


Ashley Brown  12:33

Then last but not least, is to relax your routines a bit from time to time. This is a big one. Because this will help it not feel so shocking when there's a change in your routine. If you are constantly like, super like every single day, you do your routines, which is great. I'm not saying it's a problem with that. But you don't ever flex or like relax your routines a bit from time to time, it will totally shock your system when you're not able to do it. It's like if you go to your favorite coffee shop and they tell you for the day your coffee's not there and you're like "What the freak is going on?" Every day you was getting the same coffee. But now today you don't have my coffee, or you don't have the creamer I like. But if they were to not have that coffee every so often you would end up getting another coffee. And so it wouldn't be that big of a deal if you came in and they didn't have the coffee, you will be like okay, just give me the other coffee. So hopefully that example makes sense. But yeah, so this can be really helpful. Relaxing your routines a bit from time to time because this can help you to begin to be more flexible, which is very important in life. Because life happens life shows up. And we have to be able to flex just a little bit. Sometimes a lot in order to still see the beauty in life.


Ashley Brown  14:05

This also helps to model for your children that going with the flow is an important part of life too. Structure is important right? Structure is helpful but also going with the flow is important too in life. The more you can lean into the change, the easier it will be to cope with the change. So relax your routines a bit from time to time, this can be really helpful. So those are the four ways that you can deal or cope with an unexpected change in your routines. You can take your team with you take back some control, refocus your attention, relax your routines. Okay, like I said, the more you lean into the change, the easier will be to cope with change. And that's dealing with any anything in life, any change in life, lean into it, it's okay. It's gonna be okay. And express this to your kids as well, especially if they struggle with things switching up, you know,


Ashley Brown  14:31

So those are the four ways that you can deal or cope with an unexpected change in your routines. You can take your routine with you. Take back some control. Refocus your attention. Relax your routines. Okay, like I said, the more you lean into the change, the easier it will be to cope with change. And that's dealing with any anything in life, any change in life, lean into it, it's okay. It's gonna be okay. And express this to your kids as well, especially if they struggle with things switching up, you know, start modeling that for them now and start getting them used to being able to flex because it's going to do them a world of good too in their life.


Ashley Brown  15:21

All right, well that's it for this episode. I love questions like this. If you ever have a specific question about routines that you would love for me to answer in a podcast episode, you can always email and I'll be happy to do a podcast episode answering your question. I would love to do that. And for this week, there's no routine work you get a break this week. And don't forget to join the giveaway for the $20 Amazon gift card by leaving a rating and review letting me know what you love about the podcast. If you leave a review in writing by November 27th, Friday of this week, you will be entered into the giveaway and you could be the lucky winner announced on next Monday during the podcast episode, so be sure to tune back in if you enter next week, because if you're the winner, I'm going to be sharing with you how you can get your gift. So super excited about that. But I hope that you enjoy the rest of your day. I hope that you are doing fabulous. And until next time, enjoy wherever you are, and whatever you're doing, stay happy, and I will talk to you soon.


Ashley Brown  16:34

[Outro] Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, could you do me a huge favor and take a screenshot and share it on social? And for more routine goodness be sure to visit Here's to staying happy!

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