5 Tips For When Life Puts You Into Survival Mode

when life puts you in survival modeThis is a crazy month and we are only seven days into it. The household is in an unusual state of chaos. Everyday there are meetings, receptions, events, or some other one-off occurrence that pulls one or both of us away from our normal routines. There are 24 days left in the month and practically each day we will be in survival mode.

Survival mode happens, and in a weird way, it can be a fun time as there is never time to be bored. But it takes a toll… you get tired, you may skip meals, you may over eat… when life puts you into survival mode, you basically just do what you can do to get by and hope for the day when life returns to “normal.”

Case in point, I am not writing today at my usual time, and I have already been out for my daily run and it is only 6:45 a.m. and I have to be at a seminar in less than two hours… It will be a super long day with a graduation dinner tonight, so the goal is to enjoy the day – sure – but to also get though it with minimal stress, fatigue, and anguish.

5 Tips For When Life Puts You Into Survival Mode

If you find yourself in survival mode, here are five tips that I believe will help you to get though it. I know that I am relying on them heavily these next few weeks myself:

  1. Take care of yourself. – In stressful times, it is always in your best interests to practice a high level of self-care. Watch what you eat but also make sure that you to eat if you need to as well. Hydrate. Get plenty of sleep. It might be tempting to stay up late and read some more of that book that you are engrossed in to escape a little bit, but through challenging times when life puts you into survival mode, sleep is one of your greatest allies.
  2. Take care of those around you. – More than likely if you are in survival mode, be it at home or at work, the chances are you are not going through it alone and there are those around you carrying the same weight. Make sure that you are looking out for everyone else also. Just like with taking care of yourself, make sure that everyone is getting or has an opportunity to get what they need to operate the most effectively. Pick up slack where you can and pitch in when opportunities arise, and if everyone is on the same team, they will be doing the same for you.
  3. Make every minute count. – Time management is critical when in survival mode in order to be everywhere you need to be, when you need to be there, as well as being able to get everything done. It is also important to make your minutes count when it comes to giving yourself some time and space to decompress in order to get ready for the next thing. Plan time for yourself to turn off and take breaks, plan time with your partner to have a quick dinner date to reconnect if that is possible. Make your minutes count not only for your tasks and commitments, but also in taking care of yourself and those around you.
  4. Always do your best. – When you are in survival mode, it is always important to step up and to do your best. It might be tempting to coast in order to take a little break here and there but doing that means you are not showing up and playing to win. Understand that some days “your best” might not be as great as it might be on other days and that is okay. Just as long as at the end of the day you know that you gave 100% of what you could that day and can move on without any doubts or regrets.
  5. Enjoy the journey. – These phases where life comes at you full-force can be fun if you let them be. To be honest, I rather enjoy the months where we are booked solid from beginning to end. I always tell people that for all intents and purposes the month itself is done (even though it may only be the first week) and it is just a matter of living though it. Have as much fun with the chaos as you can, while knowing that it will not last forever. Make a game of it you have to, but do what you can to make each day as enjoyable as it can be. Reward yourself and treat yourself as you can.

When life puts you into survival mode it is a challenge. It takes a lot of energy, attention, and even an awareness of your pacing to get through each day. Do whatever it takes to build up and to maintain your momentum and get going, just pick your direction and go.

How often does life force you into survival mode and how do you cope with it? Do you have any tips that you suggest that might have left out? Please share in the comments below.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 10 October 2015

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