There’s no feeling worse than that pit at the bottom of your stomach when you’ve finally hit rock bottom. It’s a dark place down there. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. It’s nothing but a dark, dark place. Days seem to grow longer. Sadness looms. No matter how hard you try to hold things together, they can’t help but to unravel and spiral further away from your control. Whether you feel this way from job loss, death, fear of going crazy, or a major event in your life, you’re not alone. Whenever I feel like my life is falling apart, I always do these exact steps to help me get back up on my feet. Keep reading if you’re looking to pull things back together.
My Life is Falling Apart. Here’s 11 Ways to Pull It All Back Together.
1. Read a Great Book
Whenever my life is falling apart, it’s because I’ve hung out in my mind a little bit longer than I should have. And once you’ve overstayed your welcome, your mind will trap you into this vicious negative cycle that spirals you into a deeper depression or leaves you feeling anxious. So, it might be a good idea to transition yourself from your mind into someone else’s mind at least for a little while. A great way to do that is through a good book.
Personally, one of the best books you’ll read is “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius translation by Gregory Hays. It’s basically his journal trying to convince him to change his behavior. It was never meant to be read by anyone but it was so damn good many in the world have read it. Another great book you’ll enjoy is “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life” by Marilee Adams which is about transitioning your outlook by the set of questions you ask. And the last book recommendation to help you when your life is falling apart is “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg. These three books are really great at helping you gain a new perspective, change your approach, and pick yourself back up.
2. Get Professional Help
Most of the time, when my life is falling apart, I try to be my own heroine and solve problems myself. But being in the middle of the problems doesn’t allow me to have a good sounding board to ensure that I make the right decision. And so, despite attempts to make my problems go away, I usually only make them worse. And that’s when a mental health professional helps save the day. The reason for sharing this antidote is to let you know that it’s totally okay if you need to find a therapist, family or marriage counselor, or some other professional expert to get the help you need.
Sometimes, you’re so deep in the quicksand, there’s no way you can get yourself out on your own. People are meant to help one another. So don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It’s better to get an objective look at a situation so that your thoughts don’t lead you down a toxic spiral of untruths. You know what I’m talking about. That moment when your thoughts take over and it’s all negative self-talk about yourself, about the person you might have a conflict with, about the world, the moon, and the stars. Put the shovel in your mind down and get that second opinion on how to pull your life together. You might have to build things back up the slow and painful way, but uphill climbs always hurt when you’re out of shape.
3. Take Care of Your Mental Health
Your mental health is a key ingredient in your success when life is falling apart. The biggest enemy causing drama in your brain are your thoughts. They sometimes bounce off all the walls and run you through a laundry list of everything that sucks about you and your situation. They distract you to the point where you don’t end up taking care of yourself, you simply get worse. And that’s how you ended up here at rock bottom. Stupid thoughts. So whenever that little devil goes off on a tangent, you’re going to have to show up there and just yell “shut up already.” He won’t. And that’s when you have to start doing things like meditating, talk to a friend for an objective view, recognize when you’re catastrophizing, and maybe check out a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) book.
If you suspect your mental health issues stem from something more serious such as bipolar disorder or substance abuse, don’t go alone. Treating a serious mental illness can require help. Not just professional, but help from mentors and supporters in the form of friends, family, and a loved one. It can take a community of people sometimes to get through a rut or serious pain. Reach out and ask for help if you can’t do it on your own.
4. Let Go of Things You Can’t Control
When life is falling apart, the one thing you want more than anything is the one thing you can’t have: control. You want to make the pain stop. You want to go back to where you were a year ago or ten years ago. You want to freeze time so you can take that second to just cry or scream or breathe.
But time doesn’t stand still. We can’t bring back people we’ve lost. We can’t force people to stay with us who are desperate to leave. Sometimes it’s even hard to get the screaming voices in your head to quiet down so you can think clearly. Life is damn short. And heck yeah that’s scary. But we can either try to control things we can’t control and spend our entire lives miserable or we can control what we can control and accept that some things are just not in our power and find peace.
All we have right now is this moment and you know what it’s passing by as you read this. But if you try to tackle your life moment by moment, you can pick yourself back up together.
Maybe your partner wants a divorce or maybe you lost someone you loved to cancer, and it’s painful and you want things to be like they used to be. But you can’t hide out in the past. It just doesn’t exist anymore. But you’ve still got these moments. You’ve still got your life. You’ve still got this moment to watch the sunset, do silly dance moves, inspire people around you, help people who are suffering, show people what love is, and find happiness in the pain. The world needs you so damn much. But it needs you to live in this moment, so please stop hiding in the past. You don’t belong there anymore.
5. Do What You Don’t Want to Do
When your life is falling apart, there’s often things you don’t really want to do. Maybe you’re refusing to give in to the reality of a situation or maybe you’re so depressed you’ve stopped taking care of yourself. But the truth is, to get yourself out of this unpleasant situation you’re going through you’re going to have to do those little things you don’t want to do. Like get out of bed in the morning, putting on clothes, taking a shower, making a healthy meal, listening to someone’s constant request and the fulfilling it, and all that other jazz. Those little things may seem small, but they’re really important steps in building your life back together. It may be hard to do those things, but they’re necessary.
6. Take Care of Your Physical Health
When life is falling apart, it’s important to take care of your physical health. That means, cooking healthy meals instead of ordering takeout another day in a row. That means going for a long walk or run outside to breathe in that fresh air. It also means taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. You could also go to the gym to workout.
Or if you’re really not ready to head outdoors yet, playing a YouTube workout playlist that you do from home. My favorite ones are the Zumba workout videos. They’re a lot of fun to dance to and you don’t need any equipment. By taking care of your physical health, you prevent other potential problems which will kick you while you’re down. You also help keep your body strong in case the cause of your frustration is health related. Another reason why it’s good to take care of your physical health when your life is falling apart is because you can get feel good endorphins flowing through you during exercise. You might not feel it on day one but after consistent daily effort, you’ll start to feel happier.
To be honest, when my life is falling apart I usually avoid meditation. I get scared to be alone with my thoughts. The mind is a scary place. But I recently discovered guided loving kindness meditations which help walk you through how to express compassion to yourself, people you care people about, someone you don’t get along with, and a neutral person like someone you walk by on the street.
Loving kindness meditations aren’t about sitting and deep breathing. There are ideas that are given to you to focus on so you aren’t alone with your toxic thoughts. It’s a really great meditation to practice when your life is falling apart and you’re trying to find a way to bring positivity back into your life. By expression compassion to others (and yourself), you slowly rebuild yourself back up. And since meditation helps rewire the brain, it helps make you a mentally stronger person over time.
8. Pay Attention to Everyone’s Needs
Most of the time when our life falls apart, it’s because we didn’t notice people’s needs (and yeah that also includes our own). Fights, breakups, and relationships falling apart is often caused by miscommunication. And even though we’re social beings, we aren’t all the best communicators. And that miscommunication often leads to tension, pain, and frustration. The Nonviolent Communication book I recommended in the first section of this article was one of the most eye-opening books I’ve ever read on communication. It teaches you how to listen to others needs and request that your needs be met as well in a way that is not only understood and heard but in a way that doesn’t cause retaliation. The book even discusses how it’s not about winning or losing the argument but about both parties getting what they really want.
9. Create A Gratitude List
In a recent article, we shared a mega gratitude list of over 175+ ideas of things you might be grateful for. Everyone has a different experience so your gratitude list will be different from everyone else’s. But even if someone has something that you don’t, it’s important to remember that you also have things that other people don’t have. When your life is falling apart, it’s so easy to stare into the fog and see nothing worthwhile.
But those are just your negative thoughts telling you that there’s nothing to be grateful for. For example, you’re currently reading this right now. You can see or hear this, you can understand it, you’re alive. That’s three things right there and we’ve never even met before. Did you know people were completely illiterate two thousand years ago. They couldn’t read at all. Maybe you’ve lost something you really wanted and it’s made you sad. And it’s okay to be sad about losing things. It’s okay to be anxious, frustrated, confused, scared. That’s totally normal. But it’s not game over yet. You still have so many things going for you. And those things are what you can use to help you get your life back on track.
10. Live in the Present
There are three time periods: the past, the present, and the future. But most people have never experienced the present moment. They’re replaying memories from the past wishing and hoping they could go back. They’re panicking about the future worrying about what’ll happen to them and wondering if they’ll be okay. But you know what moment you’re safe in? This one taking place right now. Right now, all you’re doing is reading an article about what to do when your life is falling apart. What I love about sharing this moment with you is that you recognized that things aren’t going well and you took action by reading this post. You’ve got so much strength in you to do that. You want to take action, you’re a doer. And doers improve their situation and the world. But that’s literally your life right now.
You might be crying while reading this or scared or sad. That’s okay. Things falling apart isn’t really what people want in life. But some of the best moments (in the future) come from things falling apart in the present. A wise person once said, okay it was Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother, he said “Sometimes things fall apart to make way for better things.” And today we don’t know what those better things will be. But that’s an exciting adventure coming your way. So don’t beat yourself up right now, build yourself up instead.
11. Practice Self Care
When the world around you feels like it’s caving in and you feel your life falling apart, it’s time for self care. Self care doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated either. Taking a day out for yourself, a day off work, or a weekend alone, where you’re indulging a little and spending a little time by yourself is healthy. Certain things like a long hot bath, cooking your favorite food, and catching up on a tv show that makes you feel good, are all simple things you can do to alleviate stress, depression, and just take a break overall from the seriousness of life. Take care of yourself first.
Of course, if you have the money and time, you can spend it on your mental health and self care. But it’s not required. Far too many people believe improving their mental health with self care means a long vacation overseas or a day at the spa.
When my life is falling apart, these are some of the things I do to pull them back together. Things may not be going well for you right now and I know this moment feels painful. You just want to zoom into the future to find out if you’ll be okay. And you know what… you will be. Bad moments always pass. So when you finally get that good moment, be sure to appreciate it. Feel it. Love it. Take a snapshot picture in your head. Soon, you’ll be better. But in the meantime, it’s important that you invest in your healing. May you have the strength to pick up the pieces and rebuild yourself back up. If you need someone who will listen to you, drop a comment on the article below.