Want to move on with your life but not sure how to live intentionally? I share 5 tips from when I was stuck in my own survival mode.

Live intentionally


There have been a handful of times in my life when I was trapped in survival mode.

Once when I became a new mom, another when I moved far from home, that time I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and the most recent in this crazy pandemic.

Each of these times, I had to make a choice: either continue to believe the worst and feel sorry for myself, or pick myself up and learn how to move on. Most of the time, this came in the form of encouragement from family and friends, or slowing finding out I was stronger than I realized.

I wish I could go back and help 28-year-old Amy raise her violent toddler son again and tell her that everything would turn out ok, and that she didn’t need to worry about all the what-ifs for his future. I wish I could tell 31-year-old Amy the cause of her medical problems and speed up the healing process so she wouldn’t have to go through her daily depression. But I can’t and neither can you.

What I can do is offer you some advice in how I pulled myself out of survival mode and what I’ve learned works for me in hopes that it encourages you to take control of your own life.


I don’t know what you are dealing with, but if you feel like you’re living out groundhog day or you’re miserable most days, you are probably living in survival mode. Survival mode isn’t bad—but it’s supposed to be reserved for a short period of time, not morph into a lifestyle. If you feel like that’s what your life has become—a never ending cycle of merely getting the day over with, then you my friend, need a pep talk.

I needed this talk myself a few years ago, and I want to give it to you today. To encourage you that you don’t have to live this way, and that things will get better!

Here are 5 things I wish I had known sooner when I was trapped in my own survival mode:


1. Get out of bed

With me, this is where I needed to start. With you, you might be wishing you could get into bed–needing a break is a big part of survival mode. However, in either situation, both need a reboot. What is it that will set you on a new course? Do it!

Here are 3 things that I recommend for anyone trying to make some changes in their life:

  • Create a morning routine – Add a few things to your morning that you look forward to or energize you.
  • Wake up early – I am a night owl, but as a mom, quiet mornings can’t be beat. I am calmer and happier on these days.
  • Make your bed – Something about this tiny accomplishment sets the tone for the day.

2. Talk about where you’re going, not where you are

This moment is hard and overwhelming—I get it. But imagining worst case scenarios or being stuck in an endless pity party is helpful to no one—especially yourself. What you’re going through is tough—absolutely—but don’t let it hold you prisoner. Start a gratitude journal, write down some goals you want to accomplish. Don’t beat yourself up with the if-onlys and what-ifs.

  • Stay hopeful and positive – Start a gratitude journal.
  • Dream big, set goals – Believe in yourself. Write down where you want to be in five years.
  • Stop imagining worst case scenarios – Seriously, not helpful!
  • Acknowledge the present moment – Stop with the regrets and the what ifs.

3. Open your Bible

For most of us in times of hardship, we wonder what the purpose of the suffering is, or how a good God could allow bad things to happen. Take these thoughts and questions to the One who made you. Open your Bible—study it, pray it, read it.

  • Learn about it – Easier said than done, but I have several strategies I recommend here.
  • Find passion in your study – For me, it was relating it to my struggles. Try these scripture studies here.

4. Stop comparing yourself to others

People will want to help. They’ll recommend you call so-and-so, or give you a book about someone who “went through what you’re going through”. Don’t beat yourself up if others “handle it better” than you. Everyone’s journey (no matter how similar) is completely different. Take it one day at a time. One of my favorite quotes for this is: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt”

  • Make your own mantra – Find something that speaks encouragement to you and repeat it and write it down everyday.
  • Stop comparing your beginning to their middle – This is hard, that’s ok! You’re on your own personal journey.

5. Don’t put off your some-days, act now!

Even before the pandemic, I lived in fear of going anywhere for awhile because of my disease. But after I decided it was now or never, we began taking our kids on more family vacations than ever before. And guess what? We survived! Yes, your life may look a little different now because risk is involved in doing something different than you’ve always done, but don’t waste your today living in fear. You’ve got this!

  • Remember, tomorrow isn’t promised – Take the trip, start the business, do those bucket list items!
  • Live for today – Even if you feel like today is a waste, it isn’t! Find the purpose in all your days by practicing gratitude.


A great way to change your mindset when things get tough are to find things to look forward to. I did this by setting goals and new habits in my life. Use these tips to live intentionally in this Goal Setting Workbook I designed specifically for this! You can purchase it in my shop or below:

For more on how to live intentionally, check out:

You are not alone. You are capable. You’ve got this!

Live intentionally