Survival mode is when you are living in an extremely busy season of your life where you can only focus on getting through the day. You focus on just getting by putting one foot in front of the other. Medium and long term goals are the furthest from your thinking at the moment.
You have too many demands on yourself from your job, family, and friends. You don’t have breathing room to think about anything more than the current day.
Sound familiar? Are you living in survival mode right now or know it all too well from the past?
What does survival mode feel like?
Survival model feels like you’re constantly running and never able to catch up. It feels like you’re barely able to keep your head above water. You focus on getting through the day, or maybe even the next hour.
Honestly, you probably feel in a constant state of exhaustion. When you have a minute to rest, you just sit in one place and don’t move. A cup or five of coffee doesn’t even help anymore.
Not having time for yourself is frustrating.
Maybe you feel like you’re mind feels foggy. You simply feel miserable.
Let’s face it. All of this stress isn’t good for you physically and mentally long term. Something needs to change and you need to be ready to take action.
One thing to consider first. You may also want to check in with your favorite medical professional to ensure nothing else is going on beyond the wear-and-tear of a busy schedule. Some things you can heal by improving your diet and schedule, while others truly need help from the medical community.
How do you overcome survival mode?
Let’s face it. We all go through busy seasons from time to time, but survival mode is no way to live for long periods of time.
Beyond not being fun, the physical and mental strain isn’t good for you.
The first step to overcoming survival mode is to take a page from the 12-step program and expand it.
First, you need to acknowledge you’re in survival mode. You also need to decide you want to change. Living in survival mode isn’t a way to live long term. And most importantly, you need to be ready to take action.
Change is hard and sometimes feels easier said than done.
Next stop adding to your plate of tasks. Saying “no” is hard, but it’s time to cut that guilty feeling. Consider how you can reframe “no” to point the period to someone else that can help or how the person can help themselves.
In the long run, you’re doing both yourself and the other person a favor.
Third upgrade your diet. In a busy season, you’re probably not eating the right things to keep up with the energy you’re using. In order to figure out how to clean up your task list and make changes, you need to be thinking more clearly.
If you’ve been skipping meals or eating heavily processed foods, you haven’t done your body any good. And trust me, we’ve all been there. By putting healthy food back on the menu you’ll start to feel better both physically and mentally, ready to take on the challenge of making larger changes.
Finally, it’s time to ask for help. It’s ok to acknowledge you’re human. If you’ve been really good at hiding how much you’ve been struggling the people you confide in may be surprised.
Start with reaching out to someone you can trust. You may simply need someone that can listen to you and then can be a sounding board for figuring out the next steps you should take to get out of survival mode.
What survival mode tips do you have?
We all go through survival mode from time to time. But it isn’t good for you physically and mentally long term. If you’re currently in survival mode, what tips do you have for making changes? Or how are you trying to prevent it from happening again in the future?
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