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[See a link to a post on what to to if surviving is the only option at the end of this one!]
I know that I’m not the only one so exhausted I want to go to bed at noon (thanks to a teething baby) or with a never ending to do list (thanks to working, being a wife, mom, trying to get projects off of the ground and so forth). Some things will pass. (I know those teeth will finally come through, right?) Other things I might have to let go of.
Living life feeling like you are barely afloat isn’t much fun. In fact, it can be pretty miserable. When I am overwhelmed and exhausted, I tend to not enjoy life. I also snap easier and am crankier. Sometimes my family doesn’t want to be around me.
Living life simply surviving can be necessary for a short time and for a specific purpose: working hard to get a business off of the ground, taking extra classes so you can finish your degree early, lack of sleep because of sick children or a baby.
It’s not how we should want to live for any length of time though. Give me simpler and more relaxed any day. I’d rather enjoy my family, take last minute trips to the park, read some of my favorite books, excitedly plow through projects around the house than live life so overwhelmed that I don’t actually get satisfaction out of doing anything.
How do we stop living this way?
1. We have to admit to ourselves that we can’t (even shouldn’t) do it all!
“I stopped believing the lies that I could do it all, be it all, and have it all. I wanted to be free to enjoy life.” – Crystal Paine in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
Our time is a limited resource just as our finances our. Dollar bills don’t grow on trees and neither do minutes. I have 24 hours in a day 7 days week and no more. When those hours are filled, I don’t get more. I can’t do it all.
2. We have to prioritize
First, what stage of life are you in? This will help determine your priorities. Young children, homeschooling, kids in school, new business endeavors, retired etc. When I know there’s going to be a newborn in the house, I need to prioritize differently – focus on the bare minimal.
Then ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the have to dos? (Be ruthless, volunteering in the church nursery isn’t a have to, feeding and clothing your children and being a kind mother are.)
- What are the want to dos?
- What passions and gifts do you have?
- What is the mission of your family?
Using the lists and thoughts from the above questions, prioritize what’s important to you and your family for this stage of life!
“Living with purpose means wisely choosing and committing to a few of the best things for the season of life you’re in.” – Crystal Paine in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
3. We have to learn how to say no!
It can be hard. I worry about offending people or hurting someone’s feelings. I feel guilty saying no. I want to say yes so that people will like me.
I have to get over it. I have to get over myself and worrying about what other people are going to think of me. (And let’s be honest, most of them probably aren’t going to care.)
“Living with intention means saying no to the things that aren’t important to us so we can say yes to what matters most” – Crystal Paine in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
4. We have to remember everyone is different
What is right for me and my family is going to be different than what is right for you and your family. We have different strengths, talents, personality types. Our husbands and kids also have different needs and strengths.
“The problem was that I was trying to be someone I wasn’t created to be.” – Crystal Paine in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
I can’t be someone else. The sooner I come to terms with that fact the sooner I can stop putting on fronts and stop wasting time trying to be someone God isn’t asking me to be.
5. We have to plan
Know where you want to end up. Envision what it’s going to look like for your family to thrive – to truly enjoy living.
Make goals and action steps to help you get there. Imagine them as your road map to help guide on your journey.
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never reach your destination.” – Crystal Paine in Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
Start your journey!
You’ll never start to thrive if you don’t begin. It’s okay to stop and make changes along the way, but doing nothing will keep you in survival mode. Crystal Paine’s book is a great encouragement and fantastic resource as you begin your journey. I highly recommend you purchase it or if your budget doesn’t allow ask you library to add it to their shelves!
UPDATE: There is a new post on When Surviving is the Only Option here! What can be do if our circumstances aren’t going to change and we’ve already said no to everything and planned and organized like crazy? Head over to find out!
What advice do you have to go from surviving to thriving?
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