How do I move out of survival mode?
Wisdom from the Field Community Conversation: How are you moving towards establishing a new normal?
Welcome to another edition of our ongoing community conversations, Wisdom from the Field!
This is a place for all of you to share your wisdom and experiences with each other about the hard questions of faith, church, family, politics, justice, and evolving spiritual journeys. Every month, I post a question that was submitted by a reader of Field Notes and you all - that’s you! yes, you in particular! - weigh in with your thoughts, experiences, learnings, recommendations for further learning, compassion, prayers, and perspective in the comments.
This is from the Field Notes community for the Field Notes community.
Here is this month’s question for us from Stephanie in Missouri:
“I have been in survival mode since the pandemic started and now my kids are “back to school” but I still have to work and run our life while accommodating all the new stressful things. Everything feels overwhelming with the pandemic but add to that lowered income, anxiety, my grief over our political state right now, and a dozen other things including our looming election, missing my old life, etc. and well, I’ve been in survival mode for a loooong time. I don’t feel guilty about that at all because sometimes you do what you need to do to keep going but I also think that time needs to be over. I need to move out of survival mode to get through this. You wrote about “self-care” vs. “self-comfort” in your book and I think that’s what I mean. It’s time to accept this chaos and upheaval and uncertainty is our new normal and figure out a way to do life - school, work, food, house, staying engaged with the world, caring for my neighbors, let alone self-care - during all of this. I keep hearing “don’t just survive: thrive!” from people I follow on Instagram but that feels like too much pressure and unrealistic or tone-deaf, too. Surely there is something between staying up too late bingeing Netflix and making bento box lunches for toddlers. I would love to ask this community the actual, practical THINGS they are DOING to help feel less overwhelmed and to move out of survival mode right now without putting more pressure on ourselves.
What is helping everyone move out of survival mode and to build a new normal given our current situation?” - Stephanie
Now here’s where you come in: respond to Stephanie’s question by clicking the green “leave a comment” button below. If something is helping you to move out of survival mode and into “self-care” mode, let’s hear it!
In case you haven’t read Miracles and Other Reasonable Things yet, here’s that excerpt Stephanie referenced if that helps:
“My friend Kelly told me to pay attention to the difference between self-care and self-comfort. I had a natural bent toward indulging in self-comfort; what I needed now in this season of my life was radical self-care. Self-comfort numbs us, weakens us, hides us; it can be a soporific. But self-care awakens us, strengths us, and emboldens us to rise.
Self-comfort wouldn’t heal or help me in this new path; only the path of true self-care would help me to create shalom within my own self. I needed to go to my doctor’s appointments. I had to take my medications faithfully. I had to show up for follow-up visits. I had to go to therapists, I had to explore my habits and find the trigger points of pain. I had to exercise gently, submit myself ot the daily hard work of incremental healing, I had to adjust my work schedule and my expectations and my crippling belief that God loves me more when I’m working hard.” (page 169-170)
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Happy chatting! I’ll try to pop in now and then with a few thoughts on this question, too but I’m genuinely looking forward to learning from all of you here.
P.S. As a reminder, Wisdom from the Field is typically a paid-subscriber-only space and not available for the big wide Internet to read. HOWEVER, this month all of the August Field Notes are open to all of our subscribers and to the wider Internet as a way of putting some goodness into our lives right now. This is a good thing of course but please keep that in mind when you’re sharing just in case you need to exercise a bit more discretion for whatever reason. If you do want to subscribe, you would have access to the entire back catalogue of Field Notes including our other Wisdom from the Field conversations, exclusive essays, special devotional series, the book club, and lots more.
And in case you missed these Field Notes:
My Fave Parenting Books + What I’m Reading Right Now - for everyone
Help, Thanks, Wow - a prayer circle for everyone
Do It Anyway - an AUGUST exclusive essay for everyone
Shameless self-promotion and other growth opportunities - for everyone