Thriving in Survival Mode

I’ve been in survival mode lately. Those who know me in person have seen the dark circles under my eyes and they are kind enough to ask me how I’m doing when it’s obvious the answer will be dark and depressing. I’ve been crying in public places and probably shouldn’t be driving.

Don’t freak out–I’m OK, really–I just need sleep. Somebody in this house has had a sleep regression that’s made me feel like we’re back in the newborn days. The problem is when I try to keep going at the pace I was at, instead of letting myself gear down a bit.

I’m able to get through my days as long as I recognize I’m in a different season. I can still thrive here if I call it what it is and make the necessary adjustments.

How to Thrive in Survival Mode

Leave the House Less

Have a menu plan and a shopping list to reduce last minute runs to the store. Although Walmart is only 2 minutes away and feels super convenient, it’s still 20 minutes (and an emotional drain) every time I have to run down there. I was strategic last week with the few brain cells I had and made a enough of a plan that I didn’t have to make any mid-week emergency runs. It’s been good to reduce the amount of times I go out, and I don’t have to stress wondering if I have stuff for dinner. (If you need dinner ideas or a quick lesson in simplified menu planning, check this out)

Make God Ppiority

Even it its only 5 minutes stolen in the bathroom while the kids scarf their breakfast, It makes such a difference in my day. No other activity (girl time, good book, chocolate, exercise, or even a massage) has the same rejuvenating impact as a few minutes in His presence. Key things to focus on if my quiet time is reduced to 5 minutes:

  • Gratitude. I jot down quick list of today’s gifts.
  • Asking for His perspective on my day. I’m usually looking at things wrong.
  • Praying for my heart and the hearts of my children rather than material needs, no matter how plentiful they may be.

Sometimes my prayer is only “I believe, Lord, help Thou my unbelief.” he answers that and carries me through days I couldn’t’ get through alone.

Set Aside To-Do’s

I know how urgent The List is–trust me, I know. As a blogger and entrepreneur my lists exists beyond just keeping the house clean and food on the table. it’s projects and overdue emails and strategic actions for our business. But the reality of being a mompreneur is that life often supersedes business. Some weeks it’s time to stop fighting the tension and lay it down.

The other day I needed a nap so bad it hurt. I couldn’t nap because all my children were wide awake and not old enough to tend to themselves. Often I push through and try to get some designing or writing done while monitoring them. Instead, I lay down on the couch and read a non-fiction book I’ve been working on. I got nothing done on The List that day, but we actually managed to enjoy our day a teeny bit.

Quit Multi-Tasking

This was my mistake yesterday. I tried to answer email while monitoring breakfast. Then I tried to let the children help me make applesauce while simultaneously preparing dinner. Usually I can multitask. But not when I’m that tired. I need to allow myself to do one thing at time, even if it means I get less done. Reality is, although I love multi-tasking, it’s terrible for my soul. When I’m doing more than one task at a time, I have no room in my mind for faith, patience, or gratitude.

Good news!  I got sleep last night–7 whole hours, only interrupted to nurse one time. Thus, I was actually able to get up early, spend time with God, and publish this post, which I write for me as much as for you. If you’re in survival mode, recognize and name it as soon as possible so you can take necessary precautions. You can still thrive in survival mode if you’ll slow down.

The only multitasking I’m allowing myself today is a prayer of thanksgiving while I work. Will you join me?


12 responses to “Thriving in Survival Mode”

  1. Annie Avatar

    Thank you, Trina! So helpful, and so encouraging. I’m with ya–finishing up the glories of a first trimester, shepherding a crazy toddler, and seeing less and less of my husband as he goes back to school and work simultaneously. Making lists of the essentials and letting Go of the rest. And as my sister in law (pregnant with #5!) says, “I’m just not going to dust anymore. Meals, laundry, homeschooling, and ministry take precedence!” Blessings, sister!!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Annie–I like your sister in law. 😉 I don’t dust either! I remind myself there will be plenty of other seasons (like grandmotherhood!) in which there will be time for those things. Praying for grace for you, friend.

  2. Gretchen Louise Avatar

    Thank you so much for this, friend. I was in need of these reminders this week.

    1. Trina Avatar

      well, you know, I was thinking of both of us 😉

  3. Lisa Avatar

    Great post Trina! Always good to read your posts when you have time to write. So much wisdom in this post. As list-making-get-it-done-type people, it can be SO HARD to slow down. I know. But sometimes we need to be gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we go through a season.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Lisa, always blessed to have you chime in!

  4. Silvina Avatar

    Thank you! This was so helpful….

    1. Trina Avatar

      you’re welcome–thanks for stopping by!

    1. Trina Avatar

      thank you, sweet Claire! Last week was the low point, but we are on the upswing again–Lydia is sleeping 4 and 5 hour stretches and I am beginning to feel human again! Yeah!!!

  5. melanie Avatar

    Love this and how applicable. I have three kids three and under, and we are thankfully out of the newborn stage. but last week, the baby had a virus and wouldn’t sleep hardly at all. I was so overwhelmed. Saying a quick prayer for you!!!

    1. Trina Avatar

      thank you, Melanie! Things are already looking up! I am getting some good rest this week.

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