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What to Do When You Don't Have a Crystal Ball

There are some days when life gets overwhelming.

We don't have a crystal ball that's going to help us prepare for what comes next.

When I'm feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and paralyzed, here are some things I do to prevent myself from running off the rails.

The first is PLANNING. If you have a plan, the never-ending list of tasks and must-dos aren't going to feel as overwhelming. Even if you're not able to stick to the plan, at least you've made an effort to organize the swirling chaos floating in your mind! Create a plan to deal with the problem that’s eating at you, then bring yourself back to this moment and focus on that.

Be grateful. Now that we're focusing on this moment, doesn't it make sense to make it the best it can be? So even if you're having a crappy day, there must be just one thing (or more!) that's good about it. Even if it's only that you're still walking and talking, and haven't collapsed from it all, that's still something! Focus on those good things.

DO something - ANYTHING. Motivation doesn't come from Position Zero (sitting down, doing nothing). It comes from Position One: Movement. So get up to grab a coffee, go to the bathroom, or check the mailbox - and while you're up, tackle just one small item on your plan's to-do list.

Remember WHY you're doing these tasks in the first place. What is the benefit you're going to get from getting something done? Instead of focusing on how overwhelmed and powerless you feel, focus on BENEFITS instead. So, it might be a pain in the butt, but washing

These are just the beginning! Another way to change the way you think about overwhelming days is to use Life Mantras. You can find them at

Susan Petang is a Certified Stress Management Consultant who specializes in helping women get through tough days in one piece when life is stressful. If you’d like to start waking up happy in the morning again, you can reach out to her at or visit her website:


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