Frontier Research
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Frontier Research

What to Do When You’re Stuck in the Survival Zone

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It’s hardly surprising that so many of us are spending much of our time in the survival and burnout zones right now. Covid-19 has led to new levels of anxiety and instability. The problem is clear: Demands on our energy are exceeding our capacity.

There are six core practices to avoid falling into the survival and burnout zones, and help focus on self-regulation.

Become a sprinter — It follows that two of the most powerful sources of regulation are sleep and exercise. Sufficient sleep is key to physical recovery meanwhile exercise creates mental and emotional recovery.

Substitute self-observation for judgment — We try to prove our worthiness, often at the expense of ourselves and others. When you notice those feelings arising, try to simply observe them — without judging yourself.

When you feel bad, remember that’s not the whole story — When triggered with negative emotions take a deep breath and notice where in your body you feel tension. Next, turn your attention to a place in your body where you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Create a safe space for yourself within yourself — Think about a person, place, animal, or activity that makes you feel safer and secure.

Take up something you enjoy doing just for its own sake — One activity to bring back into your life as a source of renewal for at least an hour or two a week

Make someone else’s life better — The more aware and accepting you are of whatever it is that you’re feeling, the calmer and more deliberate you can be about how you want to show up.

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