The next step in getting out of Survival Mode is another practical idea: Planning. Here’s what I wrote in my first article:
Dinners were always my afternoon problem. Planning out your menu for the week does help because you don’t need to think much about what to make, which I find takes the most amount of time. Brain fog kicks in and has me running around the kitchen trying to remember what I’m making, much less find all the ingredients. Keep things with you in your purse that you might need when you are out. If you are on a special diet, keep some approved snacks in your purse in case you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and you need to eat. A little planning goes a long way.”
Planning is the best way to save yourself time, money, and frustration. Plan out whatever you can: meals, housework, projects, appointments, etc. The more you can plan for, the less you’ll need to figure out last minute.
Life happens and so you’ll always have stuff that will come up last minute that you’ll have to work in and fly by the seat of your pants. Don’t worry, but if you remember step one is to be flexible, you’ll be able to work that into your plans. The problems only intensify if you don’t plan out what you can ahead of time and then have to add in something else on top of that. So…
Plan your meals out in advance for the week if you can. Make sure you have those in mind when you go to the grocery store that week. Cook up the week’s dinners in advance if you can on a weekend when family can help you.
Plan out your schedule so you don’t forget things. I love my iPhone calendar. I put all my dr appointments, kids’ events, and then reminders for things I’ll probably forget unless my phone dings and tells me (like to take my new meds or a dr appointment). In addition to putting in what I need to do on my calendar/reminders, I also put in the address and, if possible, the directions. That way I’m not scrambling last minute to find the doctor’s address. I even have a wallet with directions to all the places I frequent so brain fog doesn’t set in and I have a panic attack trying to remember how to get to a place I’ve been to three times in the last year and get it confused with the six other doctor’s locations I’ve been to in between.
Plan out whatever you can ahead of time (when you have the time) so that you have at least those things ready to go. Trust me. There will be plenty of other things that will pop up out of nowhere that can throw you back into Survival Mode where you will need to remember to be flexible. Planning is just a way to help you avoid Survival Mode as much as is humanly possible.