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My life is in shambles: How to restart and put things in order

Colleen E. Crane MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker based in Bozeman, Montana. Colleen is currently in private practice and specializes in working with adolescent girls and women.

Getting a grip on life

So, something happened, and you realized that your life feels like a disaster. How do you pick up from here? Here are four things you can do today to help restart your life and bring order to any situation.
Upset woman

Realize that it is only temporary

—"don’t sweat the small stuff"

What is happening to you right now is only temporary. Try to look at the long term while finding the positives of today. Often when we are feeling depressed about our current situation, it is hard to see the good in anything. Stop, take a deep breath and focus on the positives.

listMake a list

Put the most pressing items or issues that need to be addressed at the top of your list. For example, is your history of being involved in loveless relationships affecting your overall health and well-being? Is your life in shambles because of poor financial decisions? Start a list of some of the most pressing things that need to be addressed in your life. Once you have created a list, look for ways to address those issues. Whether it is finding resources to help with relationship issues or going over your credit card debt, sometimes just writing things down helps us to organize our thoughts and emotions.

Reach out for support

Feeling depressed or anxious about your situation? Reach out for support. Contact friends, family members, your church, or find a therapist. People who use their support systems are less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety. Taking advantage of your support systems also increases resiliency, which is your ability to bounce back from a difficult situation. Reaching out to others helps to put things in perspective. Try not to isolate yourself—chances are you have friends who have also felt the same way as you do now.

View it as a learning opportunity

Sometimes when we feel like our life is a mess, we blame ourselves—we should have known better or done something differently. Try to see your current situation as a learning opportunity. Mistakes are how we learn. No one get things perfect all the time, especially the first time around, and life is messy. Try not to judge yourself too severely. This situation is a way for you to grow and change in ways that would not have been possible if all these things had not happened to you. By viewing your situation from this perspective, you can look back at this event in your life not as a crisis but as a situation where you made a choice to live and see things differently.

More ways to take care of yourself

5 Practical ways to lower anxiety
How to put yourself first
Why women neglect their health and ways to make it a priority

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