By Krissy Regan The Wellness Poet
I’m guilting of living in “Survival Mode”, I think many parents and chronically sleep deprived Mum’s can relate to this feeling. Survival mode is not fun, fancy or freedom – it’s an uncomfortable cycle of suffering and just getting through the day, dreading the hours ahead. I’ve actually written a poem about this called; Surviving this Day.
People say, “It gets easier!”. But here’s the thing, if you don’t recognise the existence of yourself in Survival Mode then it’s very difficult to flip the switch and start living in Thriving Mode. And like myself, I know many Mums that have encountered lots of challenges when it comes to prioritising their own well-being. Why is this? Our children love us, more than anything, our families love us and many of our friends love us, but often those closest to us are not the best advocates for our well-being. It’s a little inconvenient for people when we try to invest time in ourselves! The Guilt….
Here’s some unhelpful things that become barriers to our well-being as a Mum living in Survival Mode.
- The notion that “I did it!” so why can’t you.
- The idea that we need to always put our children’s needs and desires ahead of our own.
- The idea that exhaustion is a badge of honour.
- The idea that we can do the same as we did before, and we will let people down, if we don’t.
- Having to negotiate time away from our family or work for self-care.
- The cost of treatments, child-care and so on.
- Asking for, and receiving the right help at exactly the right moment.
This list could be very long, plus throw-in a few traumatic life events, on-going health conditions and survival mode becomes a ticking time-bomb.
So how can we remove some of these barriers and flip the switch from Surviving to Thriving?
- Make a decision that your health and well-being is non-negotiable. This is a commitment to yourself, and once you have made that decision you start to make positive choices that serve your needs.
- Gather a team of well-being advocates. On your team will be some people you pay to help you and some will be people you don’t pay. A team of 5-7 people is helpful. A Netball Team so to speak, each player taking a different position but all working towards shooting some goals for you.
- Educate your family to understand that your Self-care is important. Self-care is an overused word that is misunderstood by most people. When you create your own solid foundation of self-care practises you will improve your well-being, and be able to give so much more to your family. Consistent self-care practise helps us build resilience and repairs our mind, body and spirit enabling us to move from surviving to thriving.
- Say NO! Start saying “No Thanks!” to things that impact your well-being. This could be invitations to events, children’s parties, joining another after school activity, taking on a new project or more responsibilities. You don’t need to say “No!” forever, just for the time you need to get yourself on the path to THRIVER. Saying No is challenging. But when you get stuck, refer to point 1.
- Listen to your body! Start to tune into your body, it will tell you what it needs. Your body is your biggest and best asset and if you nourish it, care for it, thank it, stretch it, move it, relax it, love it, your health and your well-being will sky rocket.
How do I know that these 5 hacks work? Because I did it. I moved my needle from surviving to thriving in just under 12 months using these 5 hacks. And now that I’m aware of the fact that I was living in survival mode and I’ve flipped the switch, there is no way I’m going back. However, I am like all other people; prone to set backs, challenges, grief and the visits of past traumas. Plus, my young children are still very much reliant on me for everything. So, while I love thriving, I’m also realistic about managing my expectations of what my idea of thriving looks like at this moment in my life.
It will get easier – so they say!! And if you stay committed to these 5 hacks on-going, the set-backs are shorter and the challenges solved quicker.
If you are existing in Survival Mode, firstly let me tell you, you have my wholehearted compassion and support and I’m on your team in spirit, if not in person. Admitting to yourself that you are in survival mode is the first step to shifting your needle and eventually flipping the switch. Then check in with the 5 hacks above; daily, weekly, monthly and pretty soon your well-being will be on Thriver Highway with the wind in your hair and a smile on your face! You did it.
Krissy Regan is The Wellness Poet and Founder of Mindful Mums Queensland. She is author of 3 new books; Broken to Unbreakable, 12 Steps to an Unbreakable Mind, Body & Spirit, The Koala who Lost his Heart and Bobby, a Horse who teaches a young girl how to Love. Krissy wrote these books whilst working part-time at home, raising 2 small children and juggling the demands of her household.
Krissy offer’s workshops, retreats and 1-1 coaching and launched her global online wellness school at the start of 2021. You can register right here; https://krissy-regans-wellness-movement-mindful-mums-3.teachable.com/
You can contact Krissy Regan at email@example.com or follow Mindful Mums Qld on Facebook and Instagram @mindfulmumsqld and view Krissy’s work here: https://www.thewellnesspoet.com/