Tips for Getting Through “Survival Mode”

Joanna Peters

If your home just turned into a full-time office for two, a school for reluctant and messy kids who miss their friends, and a live-in chef and cleaner wasn’t part of the deal, then something has to give, no?

And what if you were struggling with anxiety or fighting off depression before this? Even if you weren’t, this is a big deal and you deserve to create some space to process your emotions around it. Just a break.

Here’s how to truly let go and find some peace during a time of “survival only.”

Within each of us, we have a bunch of rules in our heads about how we would prefer to live and what daily success means, our partner has another version, our parents had theirs, and society has a bunch of “shoulds” sprinkled on top just for fun.

Here’s the thing though my Love, this is your life. You can do whatever you want. For real.

We all experience “survival only” times of our lives, and this is for sure one of them.

You know you are in one when your heart hurts, your brain is melting and you want to crawl under the covers for a while or move dimensions.

This too shall pass, and when it does you can ramp up again and live your best life according to that circumstance.

For now though, be kind to yourself and cross some things off that to-do list, and have fun doing it – no guilt!

There are no rules here, this is a truly personal thing.

For the next week I will:

  • Do one thing that makes me happy every day, even if it makes no sense.
  • Accept less work effort from my kids; they are struggling/adapting too.
  • Close doors on rooms I release myself from cleaning during this time.
  • Make a request for help from someone.
  • Reach out to support others. Seek connection.
  • Hide the vacuum.
  • Only cook and do dishes.
  • Stick my hair together with dry shampoo and put it up.
  • Declare kitchen as “self-serve.” Help yourselves!


  • Discern what taking it down a level might look like for you. Evaluate if it adds or decreases stress to you in making that change.
  • If maintaining a higher standard is coming from pleasing others, notice that and evaluate accordingly. (Note: YOU matter.)
  • Pray/meditate/take walks in nature to gain perspective. Ask for spiritual support.
  • Love yourself so fiercely that once you have a vision of what this could look like, speak up for it and say, “and so it is.”
  • Your core values, when boiled down, most likely don’t include many “to-dos” to execute. They are typically ways of “being” (loving, kindness etc.).

So consider giving yourself a break AND allow yourself to feel good about it. Getting intentional relieves guilt.

You are divinely supported and loved. You are enough regardless of how you handle this challenging time, so what do you want and need this next week to look like?

You deserve to make whatever that is happen for yourself.


Joanna Peters runs “Soul Weary Women” FB page. She is an author, life coach and mom.