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Surviving Survival Mode (Part 3)

So how can we begin to come out of survival mode? Here are a few tips.

Acknowledge that you are in survival mode. A person in survival mode can rarely put the mental energy into recognizing that they are in survival mode. I had to be completely out of survival mode to realize that I had been in it. Once you can acknowledge that you are in survival mode, things can begin to change.

Breathe. Breathing can be extremely beneficial as it allows you to slow down your thoughts and relax your body. Taking deep, cleansing breaths can give you the energy and the opportunity to see outside of the present moment.

Begin making plans.  As stated before, making plans is hard when you are in survival mode. Making plans and having something to look forward to can help because it will break the daily rut of just surviving until the next day.

Accept help.  If someone is genuinely offering you help, please take them up on it. Accepting help with just one thing could give you the moments you need to breathe and clear your head.

Some final thoughts on coming out of survival mode.

This is not your lot in life.  If you identify with being in survival mode, take solace in the fact that you do not have to continue operating in survival mode.  You can get out and stay out. 

Move forward.  When you finally make your way out of survival mode, do not look back.  Keep moving forward, continuing to do those things that worked to get you out of survival mode.

Plan. Plan. Plan.  Always have something to look forward to.  Whether it is having brunch with a friend or planning some alone time for yourself, give yourself something to look forward to.

Survival mode is easy to get into but can sometimes be difficult to get out of. Try not to be too hard on yourself as you go through this process.  Comment below if you have ever been in survival mode and what it looked like for you.  If you were able to get out of survival mode, share how you were able to do that.

Please visit The Serenity Room’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/theserenityroom20

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Surviving Survival Mode (Part 2)

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

What are some of the signs that you are in survival mode?

Not Being Able to Plan Ahead.  Being in survival mode makes it extremely difficult to see beyond the present moment. If you are lucky you can plan for the next day, but a few days or even a week ahead is virtually impossible.

The unexpected and unplanned causes a meltdown.  To be able to halfway maintain your sanity in survival mode, everything must fall perfectly into place. Any unexpected request or slight change of plans could cause one to become upset because there is only enough mental energy for the things you have planned.

Shy away from major decisions. In survival mode you only have the mental energy to get through the day. Having to make major decisions in survival mode is almost impossible. The mental strength needed to think about something major is just not there.  When making a major decision in survival mode, you either (1) run the risk of making a decision that you hopefully do not end up regretting later or (2) you procrastinate and do not decide at all. Honestly, neither option is good.

Days go by in a blur.  In survival mode the only thing that you are really trying to do is make it to the next day. Because of this, the days begin to blend to where something that happened a month ago can feel like it happened yesterday. Your concept of time is blurred, and you are only focusing on what is going on right now.

You are always tired.  Even if you think you are getting enough sleep, your brain is in overdrive because it is just trying to make it from doing today. Being in survival mode is exhausting!

Tomorrow we will be discussing getting out and staying out of Survival Mode.

Please visit The Serenity Room’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/theserenityroom20

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Surviving Survival Mode (Part 1)

What is survival mode?

As someone who has had the experience of living in survival mode for a significant period of time, I would define survival mode as being present in the current moment and only having the mental energy to make it to the next moment.  This week we will be discussing survival mode – what it looks like and how to get out.

Let us explore a few ways that people end up in survival mode.

Traumatic life event. Unexpected life events, like the sudden death of a loved one or a life-changing diagnosis, can put you into a space where all you can do is just make it through the day. Some people can get through life-changing events while maintaining a sense of normalcy.  Others go into a lower level of functioning and begin operating at a level that is just enough to get them through the day.

Financial Distress.  Layoffs, furloughs, and unemployment have pretty much defined these COVID-19 times. The thought that you will not be able to provide for your family can be terrifying. The stress and fear associated with being in financial distress coupled with the desperate need to provide for your family could get you to the point where you begin living day-to-day with no real direction.

Being overwhelmed.  This is what put me and so many others in survival mode. Having so many daily responsibilities that could lead to becoming overwhelmed with life, we run the risk of getting not being connected to anything other than the things that need our immediate attention.

Many other things can put you in survival mode, but these are a few of the main ones. Tomorrow we are going to discuss how you can tell that you are in survival mode and how you can get out.

Please visit The Serenity Room’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/theserenityroom20