10 Ways to Manage When Our Lives Feel UnManageable

We’ve all been there… or here. We’ve reached a stressful point in our lives & now we’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, & as though we have no control. If we’re not mindful these feelings & emotions can overtake us.

In the past, I’d allow these emotions to consume me until I simply couldn’t handle it anymore. I had to make them go away! I had to somehow numb them or release them! The problem was that I didn’t know how… well, at least not in positive ways. So I did it in the only ways I knew how; in destructive & unhealthy ways.

Today, after lots of hard self-work {but lots more to go!}, I know that our serenity doesn’t have to be a delicate, wishy-washy thing. I know that my serenity is one thing I can control & I do have power over it; no matter what’s going on around me. It takes mindful practice but we can do it!

It’s been my experience that when life gets stressful, it’s good to get back to basics.


Focus On What You CAN Control

Rather than endlessly worrying about things that are out of our control, let’s focus on what we can control. For example, we can practice good self-care. We feel good about ourselves when we’re taking care of ourselves. Doing so gains us a sense of control & self-confidence. Plus, the little bit of effort we put into focusing on what we can control is less we’re putting into what we can’t.

Practice Mindfulness

It can be especially hard to sit back & wait for the “unknowns” to unfold. It’s easy to let our minds race with the “what-ifs.” However, the what-ifs usually never happen. In addition, there’s often nothing that we can do to change the outcome anyhow. So we truly are wasting our precious time. Consciously focusing on the present moment will stop this from happening. The trick is to do this from a non-judgemental viewpoint. It’s important to note that our minds will naturally wander, simply refocus.

The Serenity Prayer

Repeat the beginning of it regularly until it becomes a part of who you are. No matter your religious beliefs, & I can attest, it works. If you need to remove certain words, then do so; it’s a principle that has made my life easier. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; & wisdom to know the difference.” I personally like the next few lines of the prayer too – Full Serenity Prayer ⇒⇒⇒

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep affects every aspect of our health. Not getting enough will eventually take its toll & we will have to pay for it in one way or another. When we’re well-rested we’re better equipped to handle what life throws our way.

Stick to Your Routine

It’s easy to get out of sync when our lives feel unmanageable. This usually happens in one of two ways: we either put our noses to the grindstone OR we let things go. Letting our routines go will make things seem worse than they actually are. If you don’t have a routine, it’s a good time to begin one. This will help you gain some sense of control.

Do Something That Makes YOU Happy Everyday

It’s important to set a little time aside for ourselves every-single-day. Denying ourselves of this will eventually have negative consequences, for us & everyone around us. We’ll end up sick or simply burned out & more frazzled than before. Something as small as taking 30 minutes to watch a show on Netflix can make a difference. Making a little time for ourselves allows us time to recharge & gain perspective.


Anything that gets heart rate up helps. We never regret exercising; only not exercising. Plus, the mental benefits are cray!

Get Outside

Sun, Vitamin D, has magical powers. It’s an instant mood booster.


1st, make sure that you keep it in a safe place that only you have access to. This was the first healthy coping strategy I ever used, & let me tell ya, those first entries are frightening & sad… But at the same time they’re rewarding because they paint a picture of how far I’ve come. I obviously have a long way still to go, but don’t we all? Not everyone takes the same path or goes the same speed, but we’re all on the same journey. Just start writing… anything… & eventually it will turn into something that makes sense & brings clarity. You may also like: Journaling: My Favorite Healthy Coping Strategy.

Tell Someone

We all need a couple of trustworthy people with whom we can confide in. As I shared in a previous post about toxic-guilt, when we “confess” to someone who is accepting & non-judgemental, a sense of freedom is gained. Holding strong emotions inside can wreck havoc on our physical & mental health. In A.A. they say that when we share it, we cut it in half.

I saw a quote on @QuoteHive that applies, “If you get up one time more than you fall, you will make it through.” Simple but true.

Whether we know it or not, we’re all courageous creatures. In some cases, our courage is simply buried beneath fear. I’m not any stronger today than I was ten years ago, I just didn’t know the depths of my strength back then. It’s up to each of us to find a way to pull this gut-level courage up & out into the open, until eventually that’s what we lead our lives with – rather than fear. Maybe we just fake it until we make it. The thing is, if we just keep at it, we will make it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 {800} 273-{TALK}8255

What are your go-to healthy coping strategies?

Krista-Lee-Pfeiffer :: Blogger & Creator of TheSunnyShadow.com

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