When It Rains, It Pours: What to Do When Everything Goes Wrong

March 6, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

When it Rains, it Pours: What to Do When Everything Goes Wrong

We all have those days when it feels like nothing goes right. But what happens when those days turn into weeks? Then months?

Have you ever had one of those days where it feels like absolutely everything is going wrong? 

You sleep past your alarm, you get a flat tire on the way to work, you spill your coffee on your shirt, you forget about that important meeting and dinner burns. The list could go on and on, but the point is, you’re now in a not-so-great mood. 

I mean, that’s totally understandable! It seems like every little thing keeps going wrong and, naturally, you’re grumpy about it. I get it. 

But what about when that day turns into a week? And then a month? And then you wake up one day and realize that the last several months of your life have been anything but smooth sailing. 

What are you supposed to do in these seasons? Because sometimes, it’s not just little things going wrong. 

We get bad news about a loved one’s health, we get sick or injured, we struggle with our relationships or our jobs… and it just feels like everything is going downhill.

Not to be a total Debbie Downer here, but I truly believe there will be times in our lives when this happens. You’re bound to find yourself in a season like this because that’s just the way things go. 

But when it’s all going wrong, what do we do?

As someone who’s definitely been in the “When it rains it pours” phase of life myself, I want to give you some practical advice, based on time management strategies AND good old hard-won knowledge, that can help you weather these storms. 

Remember everything is temporary, even your current situation

We really don’t have much control over what happens to us. But we do have control over how we react to it. And adjusting our thoughts to remind ourselves that “This is temporary” instead of “When will this ever end?” can be more helpful than you realize. 

Being reminded that something is temporary can also help us shift expectations and be in the moment — there is a timeline and an end to what we’re going through. 

Of course, I’d like to share an important caveat here. If you’re talking about grief, there’s no timetable for that, and you are allowed to grieve in your own way. Just know that grief also changes and evolves, regardless of what you’re grieving. 

Don’t look too far ahead into the future

It’s also really easy to fix your eyes on the what-ifs when you’re going through some tough times. However, thinking too far ahead can actually make us lose sight of what we can do right now.

Now normally my advice to time management coaching clients is to focus on their vision for the future — 6 months, 1 year, even 5 years from now. But when you’re in a season of overload and overwhelm and everything seems to be going wrong, I find that focusing on what you can control in the near future helps more. 

I’m talking simple and actionable things to do today or this week, like making sure dinner is made, working through my to-do list for that day only. And even then, being RUTHLESS about what’s on that to-do list. What are the things you have to do, and focus on those.

Make time for yourself

Making time for yourself isn’t selfish. One of the hardest things about going through life’s valleys is feeling like everyone is depending on you to be on your a-game when really, all you want to do is crawl back into bed.

But the truth is, you have to take care of yourself so that you can show up for the people you care about.

You don’t have to do anything over the top like book a spa retreat or go on vacation, because even just finding little ways through the day, like taking a 15-minute break to step outside and enjoy some fresh air, can really help. 

Break down the big stuff into smaller tasks

When we’re on edge, it’s really easy for us to get frustrated and give up when we don’t feel like there’s anything we can do right now. We see a really big mountain in front of us and freeze. 

But when you take the big picture and break it down into things that are easily attainable on a daily or even weekly basis, you have a better chance to get them done. It really helps to list out what you need to get done. 

It’s just like when you’re looking for a new car. You might want to break this down into “make a list of nearby dealers,” “make a list of car models I’d like to test drive,” “call each dealer to see if they have those cars in stock,” etc. 

Having smaller tasks to complete can build momentum and help you feel more in control, even when things aren’t perfect. 

Make a list of what is going right

The brain loves to make connections and see patterns to make sense of the world. When something is going wrong in one part of your life, your brain starts to see threats in other areas — it’s how we’re wired.

But while the brain does a lot for us, isn’t it kind of ironic that it doesn’t quite understand reality? At least not all the time. 

It helps to show our brains that not EVERYTHING is a threat, and things are going right in areas of our lives, too. 

To reset your brain’s emergency notification system, I like to sit down at the end of each day with silence and intention, and write out at least 3-5 things that did go right.

Things like your coffee NOT spilling on your shirt. Or showing up to work early. Eating something good for lunch. Getting a good night’s sleep…there are a lot of good things, though they may be small, that we overlook and even take for granted. 

Do something for the sake of having fun

It might sound frivolous when things are going wrong but… have you ever tried a game of pickleball?

Have you ever gone to a movie at noon on a Tuesday?

It really helps to get out of your current environment and do something else when things are feeling heavy. You can even do something new like baking or painting — something that requires you to use a new part of your brain. 

There’s a lot of pressure to perform in our daily lives, which can very quickly lead to overwhelm. But when you do something just for fun, you show your body that it’s not in survival mode and it’s not just all doom and gloom. 

In this episode, we talk about: 

  • How to handle it when it feels like everything is going south 
  • What to avoid during tough times, so you don’t send yourself into a spiral
  • How to implement positive habits into your everyday life to build up your buffer against “hard times”

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