9 Ways to Come Out of Survival Mode

// Spirit, Success

I have been in survival mode a few times in my life. More than a few times….

I know too well the despair of everything falling apart, of sudden loss, of severe pain and shock news that brings you sharply into the present moment faster than any meditation practice ever can.

Polly Alexandre

And I also know the other kind of survival – the slow burn of trying, trying, trying and not quite getting there. The feeling of overwhelm at how far you have to go, how much you have to do, and quite frankly wondering if and how will you ever get there.

I know the feeling of barely being able to survive, and not knowing where the next client will come from, or how I will pay my mortgage. Of having not enough money to put petrol in the car, and praying in desperation for help.

In hindsight we see the lessons these tough times taught us, but in the heat of the fire, it doesn’t feel good at all.

The outlook is bleak and you feel terrible.

Today I am not going to tell you it’s going to be ok. Perhaps it won’t – in the way you dearly want it to be ok.

I’m not going to tell you to look on the bright side, because perhaps you need to feel your pain first.

I’m not going to tell you it will only get better, because well, perhaps it will get worse first. That sometimes happens.

What I am going to show you is how to cope and come out of survival mode.

You’re smart and you’re strong, and at some point when your soul has created the experiences it needs to in order to learn the lessons it’s seeking, things will turn around.

One day things will be even brighter than you ever imagined. You’ll be stronger, wiser and more abundant in every way.

And in the meantime, here’s some help to get to through the dark days….


9 Ways to Come Out of Survival Mode


1. Go into the eye of the storm

Avoiding, denying or hiding the reality just makes it worse. It can pop out unexpectedly in bursts of emotion at inappropriate times. Instead create some space and time to really go there… go into the heart of the pain. Sit quietly with yourself and your journal and make space for YOUR feelings to be heard and acknowledged. Counselling may be supportive at this time. Being heard, seen and witnessed by another person can be incredibly healing.

2. Let the feelings out

I can’t emphasise this enough – especially with loss or grief – to make space and time for your inner most emotions to come out. Crying is incredibly healing and will shift your energy and vibration fast. If I find myself feeling heavy or stuck, I often find it’s actually some trapped emotion and 15 minutes releasing through crying has the power to completely shift my energy and how I feel, and then the rest of my day can take on a new quality.

3. Focus on today only

When it’s a super intense time of survival for you, take it one day at a time. Don’t try to think beyond today.

If you are struggling for survival financially, just look at what you need today. Once you have made a plan for handling any debt you are in, just look at what actions you can take today to create money. Forget the big vision, forget the future, come right back to today. Right now. This moment.

Often we feel powerless when we focus on the future, and can’t control it, so come back to the present moment whenever you can. Meditation and yoga help a lot with this.

4. Simplify your life

When you are in survival mode, it consumes your time and energy and takes up valuable headspace. It’s time to simplify.

If financial survival is your challenge, strip back to essentials. What can you let go of, or cut back on?

Constantly worrying about money can be very draining on your energy and mindset, so do what it takes to get yourself to a place of stability and being able to meet your basic needs. If it means taking a job for a while, re-frame that and see it as an investment in YOU, not a failure. See it as a powerful decision that will allow you to take care of yourself, have time to do your inner work, and explore your options and know that you are growing in love and consciousness in the process…and the job may even have hidden benefits for you.

Getting yourself to a stable place will help you move forwards more rapidly on your true path.

If surviving loss or trauma is your challenge, focus on what your mind, body and spirit most needs right now. What would be most helpful, most nurturing? Take it step-by-step and honour your needs.

5. Make wise investments

The worse time can actually be the best time to invest in support. Everything falling apart in my own life – multiple losses, leaving my home country, and then my business hitting a tough patch – was the catalyst for me choosing to invest in a coach.

That then kickstarted a period of intense growth and eventually a future far bigger and brighter than I even envisaged before things went wrong. I didn’t know it got this good!

6. See it as a time of rapid growth

Be really curious. Your soul is expanding big time right now! What is it learning?

Some of the virtues I learned during tough times, included surrender, faith and trust, and emotional independence. In fact I learned that my lesson in this lifetime for emotional independence was one of my biggest journeys and I chose on a soul level to lose everyone close to me, so that I could truly learn how to support myself emotionally. Most soul lessons won’t feel like a bed of roses, but they are how we grow spiritually.

You might be crying outwardly, but inwardly….just imagine your soul is having a ball!  Mmmm, all these juicy life lessons!

7. Shift the fear

When you don’t know how to pay your bills, or you can’t control the outcome of a challenging situation, what you CAN control is your feelings.

Remembering this one thing, will help you become the driver of your life again, instead of feeling like a powerless passenger.

To release a fear all it takes is a decision. A decision to release it.

Before you can do that ask yourself ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’.

Allow yourself to go there, really go there. Identify your deepest fears and you will probably realize that you could handle it, and besides it’s extremely unlikely that it will happen anyway. When you face the fears you bring them to the light, and they lose their power.

When you see the fears as separate from you, not part of you, this makes it easier to let them go.

8. Trust and have faith

Trust that what you are experiencing right now is absolutely perfect for your growth. The lessons you have learned are going to make you stronger, wiser and more capable moving forwards. Have faith that this is exactly where you need to be, and this is happening for your highest good.

So how do you have faith? In a sentence, develop a connection with your spirituality, and with a Higher Power or the Universe. Hand over your worries, and ask for support.

Oh – and don’t forget to pray for miracles.

9. Choose what you focus on

Once you have expressed the emotion, released your fears, and reignited your faith and trust that everything is working out, then it’s time to look forwards.

The Law of Attraction states that we attract what out thoughts are focused upon, so make a decision to think about and focus on what your DESIRE….

Take every situation and imagine the BEST that could happen!

Use conscious language to help yourself – “I choose not to go on holiday at this time” rather than “I can’t afford to go on holiday”.

Focus on all the abundance in your life right now and be grateful for that for it will bring more of it into your life.

Stay focused on your vision and follow the steps to manifest.

{Photography by Maria Simon; Hair and Make up by Lauren Buckley}

Was this helpful for you? Which way resonated with you the most?

Share your experience of survival mode and what helped you at this time below…..



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