How to Pick Yourself Up When Life is Falling Apart and You’re Not Coping Well

From someone who’s been there.

Stephanie St.Claire

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photo: Kinga Cichewicz

There are times when life is just socking you in the face. I’m talking about the days you’re so overcome with anxiety, grief, and stress it’s hard to even think straight.

I have been there, friend. And so I put this list of coping strategies together in hopes it will help you get through the hours, day, night, few days? when things are really, really bad and you are just trying to crawl up to a basic level of emotional stability. We’re not even talking about long-term solutions or self-work. We’re talking about the immediate right now — the moment you realize you’re 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea deep with grief and anxiety and you need to figure out how to get pants on so you can make it through the grocery store without bursting into tears.

photo: Pexels

Before we get into the strategies, I have a new mantra for you:

Whatever your situation is, YOU are not your circumstances.

Even if the situation is from a mistake or misjudgment you made. Even if the situation has been going on for weeks/months/years. Even if you can’t see any solutions right now. You are not your circumstances.

When you’re in the middle of something terrible, all of the facts, feelings, people, shame, blame, anger, mistakes, dread, and sorrow get impossibly entangled. It’s hard to see yourself as separate from the bullshit you’re dealing with, but grab on to that one inch of yourself that can find the truth in YOU are not your circumstances, and hold on for dear life.

Okay, here we go. Here are my personal coping strategies for when everything is going to hell.

ONE.
don’t be afraid to feel it.
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Let yourself cry. Don’t be afraid of your grief, fear, sadness, and disappointment coming up and out. I used to be afraid to let myself feel the depths of my emotions because I thought I couldn’t afford to lose a day to crying or being upset. I would go for days or weeks with the…

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Stephanie St.Claire

Writer. Reader. Lover of the Oxford comma. Writing for Medium since 2013. Find me at stephaniestclaire.com