Do any of these sound familiar?
You are doing everything you can just to get through the day.
You have focused all your energy on the next 24 hours. You are unable to even think about the next day, never mind next week.
You can only consider one task at a time. Everything is URGENT!
You feel utterly alone and helpless. You are the only one who can do the job right, and you must do it yourself.
You push others away without thinking because you don’t have time or energy to deal with them.
You don’t eat properly, sleep is a foreign concept, and your stress level is so high you feel like you will snap at any moment.
You rush around like crazy but never get caught up.
You can’t remember the last time you laughed and enjoyed a day.
All you can do is react to each situation that arises.
I've been here many times over the years! Being in survival mode is HARD, and not sustainable, yet many of us stay here longer than we should because we can't figure a way to get out. Maybe you feel like you don't even have one ounce of energy to figure out any kind of solution because you're using every single last bit of energy just to stay somewhat afloat. But you can't stay here - because it will start to impact your health, your family, and the most important things in your life. Even if you don't feel the impact of practicing these 4 things I'm about to give you, stick with them for at least a week - and you'll see the impact.
1. Shift your mindset daily/hourly. Write out one (or a couple) things you need to remind yourself right now in this season. Keep them on a note on your phone or on a whiteboard somewhere and read them multiple times a day. You've got to start reminding yourself of what matters, and what's true. If you can't write them right now for yourself, have someone you trust write them for you.
2. Focus on growth. I know this seems like the opposite of what you want to do, but opening up a tiny crack of space for things that typically spur creativity is critical to you breaking out of survival mode. So take a minute to think about what that is for you (work outside/regular walks/virtual coffees), and start to dedicate some time to it once a week.
3. Accountability. You can't do this on your own. You're going to need some help. Think of someone you trust to check in with you every Friday to see how you're doing with shifting your mindset and focusing on growth. Tell them the things that you're doing to do, so that they can help you continue the momentum.
4. Look back to look forward. Sometimes, we have to look back to be able to look forward. Perspective helps - and a way to gain some perspective can come from talking with others that have experienced similar things. Think of someone you know that has been through a similar season, or do some research if it's something that has happened throughout history. Reading or talking through this may help you see the whole journey, the bigger picture of how things played out. More significant perspectives can encourage us when we're in survival mode.
“Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.”
― Germany Kent