We run our system a bit like a small community because it is just that when it all comes down to it. So when I say things like “System Management” I almost think of it in a leader sense of way, like a manager at a store. Not all of us have jobs, but all of us help out in our own little ways, and in the end, we all want whats best for each other.
Now, we don’t have a set “host” or original part who gains all control and is the automatic leader. We’ve always felt a bit outcasted in some online spaces and in some resources because of that. Still, I want my blog to be inclusive for everyone, so I hope my advice can work for systems who have a host.
Instead of a host, we have a few parts who front the most and who take on a lot of responsibility. We (I’m one of them) as a whole work with the other leaders in our system to make sure everything is going well.
Our main fronters are; Cloud (myself), Roo, Kenny, Adam, and Lolly.
Lolly also has the job of being the “newbie leader”, meaning he is the voice for all the parts who are only recently coming into co-con with the rest of us. Kenny is also the pain holder for our chronic illness/physical disability (though this is a new job for him). Then there is the “head protector” Joji, the roll-call taker Rude, and the “kid wrangler” Cat.
While none of us hold any power over anyone else, we are the group of people who people come to when they need help with something or have a question. If we were to break it down even further, I’d say our managers are myself, Kenny, and Joji.
This is just how we run our system, this isn’t necessarily the best way to run a system. This is also a very vague look at how our system works, we can and will go into more detail in other posts.
I just wanted to write out some tips for other systems on way to manage life has a system. An overall guide that doesn’t go into too much detail but covers the basics.
System Management Basics:
- Keep things organized – meaning put things in the same place in your living space. Things like keys, water bottles, journals, favorite books. Anything that would be helpful for someone else to have who may not know where to find it if it’s in a weird spot.
- Write down everything – I cannot stress enough how much journaling has helped me and my system. With communication with all parts/mute parts, to keeping track of appointments and schedules. It helps to write down things to remember, good or bad. Tracking things like triggers or water and food intake.
- Share the workload – either internally or externally. If you have kid parts who are rowdy or babies who get fussy don’t always have one part be the go-to “parent” part, it helps to have other caretakers in the system. Who knows maybe it will make other parts become friends. Externally, divide chores, work or school, etc between parts. Even dealing with triggering things that you still cannot avoid. That goes along with my next point:
- If it doesn’t make you too tired, switch out with others. – Switching for us has always made the day less of a job. Sometimes we feel like we switch too much to be considered “normal” but then we think there is no normal so who cares. It has helped that we are co-conscious and has helped increase that.
- Be prepared – having an emergency kit can be a lifesaver. I’m not just talking about emergency kits for cars or natural disasters, I’m talking panic attacks, kids fronting, flashbacks, etc. Always have something with you to calm your system down, and at home keep a box full of stim toys, some good candy (keep it fresh!), coloring books, calm down stuff, smelly stuff, anything you can think of that would help out.
- Hold meetings – internal meetings can help bring a system closer together in a big way. Not everyone has to come to them, make it optional just to keep things democratic. Just talk about whats been going on lately and if anyone has any needs they need met or things they want to do.
- Make headspace a place people feel comfortable – headspace is where all of you spend most the time, so it’s nice to have a comfortable place for everyone to stay. Headspace can sometimes be so huge that it’s hard to manage but trying to make what little parts you can get to nice can help. Give the kid parts toys and a nice colorful and warm space. Give adults good food and TVs/books. Let people have nice comfy beds to sleep in.
- Do a roll call/check in – This can be used in place of number 6 but they are best done together. Its pretty basic, just go to everyone you can reach and ask how they are. Make sure they aren’t struggling because if they’re struggling then you’re struggling.
- Have helpers/people others can go to – This goes along with the dividing up the work, but if there are other parts who are knowledgeable about system life and real life or who can be good with kids have them be known. Let the system know that they are someone that anyone can go to to get advice or help. Of course, this is totally optional on the helpers part, don’t force anyone into this role.
These are just a few things I can think of to help improve how a system functions. I will go into more detail about a lot of these in other posts, and if you see any you’d like me to dive into first, leave a comment which ones.