This is a guest post written by Alison Pritchett.
We’ve all had those seasons of life where we feel in a rut of just surviving. You know the feeling. The feeling that you are just trying to make it through the day. There’s no time and no energy for anything extra. Just survival. This phase of life can accompany the birth of a new child, or at a time of great loss, or life change of some kind. Or it can seem to have no real cause at all, it’s just life, and you can’t seem to get out of the funk.
So how do you shift the tide? What happens when the days of just surviving string together longer than you know is healthy? How do you invigorate yourself, feel human again? And feel encouraged? Feel like you’re thriving, and not just surviving?
For me, when I’m caught in survival mode, I start to lust after the “perfect” life I wish I was living. You know the one, the perfectly curated little squares on social media that you somehow think your life needs to look like. First of all, I had to stop comparing (easier said than done). Start focusing on my life, my family, and my needs. Am I taking care of myself? Focus inward, and find little wins.
So I am a total planner. I work full-time outside the home, I have two young kids (6 and almost 4), and I am a type A, goal oriented, schedule driven woman. The first thing having kids taught me is that I am no longer the owner of my schedule. My schedule is much more fluid these days, based on who’s sick, what homework is due tomorrow, who needs some Mommy attention stat, or my husband’s shifting schedule. I find that while I try to plan time for myself each week, it’s hard to stick to during those weeks where everything seems to be falling apart at the seams. Work is demanding more of me, the kids are clearly requiring more, and my heart is craving time with my husband. But there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Everyone is busy, we are all cranky, and I feel like I have nothing left to give. I have to listen to my soul in that moment and ask for exactly what I need.
Asking for help is something I struggle with. I’m independent, and I feel like I should be able to get it all done. But simply asking literally changed my life. It was an oddly humbling thing for me to do. I quickly found out that my husband thought no less of me for asking, and in fact, he appreciates nothing more than getting to step in and be my hero after a tough day when I tell him exactly how we can do that. And asking him before I’ve broken down goes a long way. I had to stop being disappointed he wasn’t reading my mind and anticipating my every need.
So the top things I ask for or take time to do for myself?
- Take a shower. While the kids are awake. Without interruptions. (again, ask specifically)
- Get a mani/pedi.
- Grab a glass of wine with a girlfriend to recharge and be reminded you’re not alone in this journey.
- Read a book. For fun. Get lost in someone else’s story.
- Take a walk. Or stretch, or workout. Moving every day and taking some quiet minutes helps the stress melt away.
And when you have a day that literally all you can do is survive, then celebrate that you made it through, and give yourself the grace to accept that as enough!
More about Alison:
I’m Alison Pritchett, the Corporate America Mom. I am a busy wife and mom (aren’t we all?!?) striving to have the best of both worlds. I live in sunny Arizona with my husband Kyle, our son Gage (6) and daughter Hudson (almost 4), and our Saint Bernard “puppies” Dozer and Diesel. My days are filled with work, family, love, and chaos. I treasure my community of women cheering each other on through the ups and downs, celebrating life’s wins, and crying together during the tough moments. Being vulnerable is a must for me to keep my sanity and build community.
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