How To Survive When You’re In Survival Mode
We all go through times in our lives when we're in “survival mode”. Whether it's a life change such as moving or a new baby, illness, or a busy season with a job, those crazy, stressful times come upon all of us. When you're going through a “survival mode” season, you might wonder if you're going to make it through with your sanity, or perhaps even your marriage, intact.
My personal “survival mode” as of late has been caused by my health problems. Add to the chronic fatigue, weakness, heart palpitations, dizziness, brain fog, and digestive issues an unexpected pregnancy (Surprise! That was an announcement!) and you can understand why I spend a lot of my days in the bed. Three kids 5 and under with their mommy in the bed is a recipe for disaster!
Here's how I'm surviving my “survival mode” season. I hope these ideas will be of help to you next time your life is crazy and stressful.
1. Be willing to accept help.
This is hard for me, and I'm sure it's hard for most people. It's embarrassing to let someone see your messy house, let alone allow them to clean it for you. You feel badly letting someone else trouble themselves to cook your supper or watch your kids for you. But if people want to help – let them! They want to be a blessing, so allow them that opportunity.
2. Lower your expectations.
Don't get upset if you're not serving your usual home cooked meals for supper. Let everyone eat sandwiches, be happy they have something in their belly, and leave it at that. You may be running clothes through the washer and dryer and never getting them folded. If you have to live out of the laundry basket for a while, don't sweat it. Just be glad everyone has something to wear. Your house will not be spotless. Accept that fact, do what you can, and don't worry about the rest.
Make everything as easy as possible for yourself. Remove everything from your schedule that is not absolutely essential. Use paper plates at meals. If you're in the bed and you have small children, try to keep everyone confined to the same room. This will save the house from getting torn apart by curious little hands. Occupy the kids with videos or activities they can do themselves (coloring books, puzzles, etc.)
4. Use the timer.
Whether you're suffering from illness or are just extremely busy, most people can carve out one 15 minute cleaning session each day. Set the timer for 15 minutes and straighten the house as quickly as you can, starting with whatever area is bothering you the most. If you absolutely can't do 15 minutes, try to do just 5. You'll still be surprised how much can get done!
5. Brighten your mood
When you're not feeling well, the house is falling apart, and you feel like a lousy wife and mother because you can't keep up with everything, it is easy to start feeling depressed. Make it a priority to spend time with the Lord each day (the joy of the Lord is my strength!) Find other ways to cheer up the atmosphere of your home. Raise the windowshades and let in some sunlight. Clean one room thoroughly, shut yourself in away from the rest of the mess, and enjoy the view! Turn on some uplifting music. Count your blessings and focus on the positive.
How do you survive when life seems crazy? Please share your ideas!