Girl talk Lifestyle

How to stay sane, when sh*t hits the fan


Sometimes you might find yourself feeling like your life is spinning out of your control. Sometimes, things just happen and sh*t hits the fan.

Last week I was going through my own little personal sh*t storm and I was convinced that it was without a doubt, the worst week of my life. It just seemed like one thing kept going wrong after another. And another, and another. Now, I realize that things weren’t as bad as I’ve thought (they never are, are they?). I also realized how important it is to stay strong and positive during those tough times, not just for yourself, but also for your partner/family.

It was that experience that inspired today’s post. Sometimes an unexpected challenge or an obstacle might come your way, and you find yourself stressing out, worrying and not knowing what to do. Today, I’ll talk about a set of habits that will help you get through those tough and challenging times.


When things don’t go your way, it’s easy to start feeling anxious about the future- this is why it’s so important to focus on the present moment. Easier said than done, I know. For many of us, worrying is just in our nature. We think and obsess about all the things that could go wrong and we live in this mind-made prison. Worrying about tomorrow steals away the joy of today, so forget the things that are out of your control, and focus on those things that you can control. One of the simple ways of staying present is telling yourself “now I am ___” and concentrate on what you’re doing at that moment.


Sometimes when things get really hectic and I start feeling like I’m starting to lose control over everything, I take a mental health day. I turn off my phone, I turn off my laptop and try not to worry about anything else. I meditate, do some light exercise, prepare myself a nice meal, read a book. I don’t want to say that I allow myself to feel sorry for myself for a day, but sometimes all you need is a little break in order to see things from a different perspective.


This is a big one. When sh*t hits the fan, it’s very easy to start blaming yourself, or others for your problems. It’s very important that despite whatever it is that you’re going through, you forgive both yourself and anyone else you might be blaming. I think that we all tend to be way too hard on ourselves, overanalyzing every situation that might have played out differently if we made a different decision, etc. This is why you need to forgive yourself for the mistakes you think you’ve made. When you’re under a lot of stress you also might find yourself wanting to take your anger or frustration out on someone close- like your partner. During tough times, it’s important to have a good support system and last thing you need to do is getting into an argument with someone close. If you need to let off of some steam and get rid of all that extra energy and emotions- go for a run.


Rather than sitting and worrying about what’s going to happen next, sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and make a plan. Whatever it is you might be going through; whether it be related to your finances, your job, school, your family- the first thing you need to do is create a plan on how to tackle your problem.


Last year my mom ended up in a hospital and I had to not only take over some of her responsibilities but also worry about her getting surgery on top of everything while also working and taking care of my family, driving around all day, going home then going back to the hospital. I felt like I was about to get a nervous breakdown and thought that I’d end up in a hospital myself. One of the reasons why I think this happened was because I wasn’t keeping up with my usual routine. I didn’t meditate, I didn’t get my daily workouts in, I ate crappy food, I didn’t keep up with my gratitude journal- I didn’t do any of those  things that help me stay sane, happy and motivated. I think that this is why keeping up with your regular routine as much as possible is very important during stressful times. Make sure that you’re not spending most of your time on the couch, make sure that your sink is clean, your laundry is done, your bed is made- these are all things that will make you feel much better while you’re  trying to work through your

How do you deal with stressful situations? Do you have a specific system or a set of habits?


  • Reply
    Carol Lander
    January 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Paula, as you say, s**t happens to everyone at times. A few years ago I decided Ito focus more on the present and not worry about tomorrow and especially what I can’t control. It’s amazing what a difference that change of attitude made in my life. Prayer and faith help a lot too.

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 21, 2016 at 9:44 am

      I did the same thing Carol and it definitely is life-changing! Especially since I’ve always been a worrier and always thought of the worst case scenarios all the time and constantly worried about the future, whenever something went wrong. Prayer can also do wonders, I agree. xx

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 9:47 am

    This post came exactly at the right time for me! These are such wonderful things to keep in mind, and its honestly so hard to keep it together sometimes. One thing I’m really trying to consistently get into the habit of do is writing in my planner every day- it really decreases my stress level when I don’t have to try and remember what I have to get done that day. Again, great post :)

    Savannah xx

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      So happy to know that this came at a perfect timing for you Savannah! I know just how hard it can be to keep it together sometimes. Remembering about all the amazing things and people you have in your life definitely helps ;)

  • Reply
    Chelsey A. Thornton
    January 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

    This parallel between this post and the post I just posted on my own shit hitting the fan moment is awesome. This are all so great, true, and beneficial. I think it gets hard sometimes in the moment to remind yourself of them. I always have to really force myself to extend outside of a rough moment and get new perspective.

    Chelsey |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 26, 2016 at 12:14 pm

      Sometimes I have to do the same. Just literally force myself to get out of bed and get things done, trying not to think about anything too much. I think that sticking to your routine is definitely one of the most important aspects here.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

    This is such a timely post. So far it seems like 2016 is off to a crappy start. Not for me personally but to people close to me and I can’t help but feel, well, helpless – wishing I can do more to help them. It makes whatever hardships and stress I’m facing trivial compared to what some of my friends have been through the last couple of weeks (ie:losing everything in a fire, husband passing away unexpectedly). It’s so easy to get caught up in our own storm and forget that it will eventually pass.

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      It can be so difficult when someone you care about is going through a tough time, but also so important for them to know that they can count on you. It’s also during those times when we really appreciate all those amazing things that we have in our lives.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Great tips, I usually get really stressed when it’s a new semester because there always ends up being a billion papers due usually around the same time. In order to stop being stressed I’ll have to write down the plan of my schedule such as when to do what part of an essay. I’ll be sure to follow the other tips on this post, thank you!

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Staying present and forgiving myself and others are two things I really need to work on. Right now I generally tend to deal with stress by isolating myself, but that’s not the healthiest way of working through things, so these tips are great.

    Bianca | Born in August

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 26, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Isolating might not be the best way for dealing with stress, but I think that spending time alone can definitely help- as long as you don’t start avoid people :)

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 11:02 am

    This is an awesome post, is it always important to remember the positive things when negative things may be happening!


  • Reply
    Biana Perez
    January 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

    This was me last week and I was anticipating a very hard week…so I mentally prepared and that also meant preparing blog posts ahead of time and things like that!! Love this post! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  • Reply
    Kim Petersen
    January 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

    YES! You know I love these posts of yours Paula, and lets be honest, we all have felt like s*it gets out of control sometimes! I love these tips, especially keeping your routine. I’m the worst at this. If one thing goes wrong, I automatically think, well there goes my whole day and am completely unproductive, where I’d feel a lot better if I just got onto the next thing I needed to do. Amazing post! XO -Kim

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 26, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Thank you so much Kim! This used to be me too. I always ended just going to sleep when having a stressful day, but sticking to my routine makes me feel so much better!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Trejo
    January 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    It’s hard to forgive someone who you really were close to. Really hard! Tough time for me was when my parents went through divorce and I never forgave my dad for what he did. So what I did for tough times was just distract myself with many things like you explained as well Paula!

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 26, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      I look at it this way: when I forgive someone, I do it for me, not necessarily for them. I don’t want to hold a grudge and feel constant anger toward someone. I don’t have a best relationship with my father either, but I think that ever since I started practicing forgiveness, it got a lot better.

  • Reply
    Diana Youn
    January 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    All of this is so important to remember. Thanks for these tips, Paula!


  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I love this little list! Really love this post – also, that photography is gorgeous!

    emerald | Life By Emerald

  • Reply
    Isabelle Goodall-Munroe
    January 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Some great tips here, as always! I’m finding myself to be crazily stressed lately and am in desperate need of some TLC.

    Isabelle |

  • Reply
    Jessica Wilby
    January 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Love this post! I handed my notice in a few weeks back and had a bit of a wobble. Making a plan and sticking to a routine really helped me keep my head above water!


  • Reply
    Nameless Gap
    January 21, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    This is such a great post! To deal with stressful situations I try to stay positive, always look at the good things when everything seems to go wrong, it really helps me.
    Paula |

  • Reply
    Rita Macedo
    January 21, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    This is such an amazing post! I think forgiving yourself is definitely very important! This month I had 6 exams for Uni in 3 weeks and I didn’t pass in two of them. Most of my friends managed to pass the 6 and I felt extremely down and as if I wasn’t good enough to be there. I took two days to relax and think about it and I’ve realised that not everyone can deal with pressure the same way and that I should be so harsh on myself as I can still repeat those exams in February before the 2nd semester starts! Keep a routine is also very important to me and it keeps me going! If for some reason my routine starts breaking I feel like I’m loosing control of things! Xx

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 27, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Aww thank you so much Rita! Not being too hard on yourself is definitely very important in situations like these. You just have to dust yourself off and try again :) I’m sure you’ll do great Rita!

  • Reply
    Emma Louise
    January 21, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Loved reading this, i can get very anxious if things go wrong or not how i planned but sometimes you have to think what can come of it and the positives x

    Emma |Emmys Beauty Cave

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Keeping up your normal routine when there are stressful situations is so important. It helps you to keep going, where if you don’t, you put a lot more pressure on yourself and may end up burning out. Break are also really important (I actually just did a post on this). It’s so vital for you to take a break when you need one. I find that so many people ignore that need (I did, and it made things so much harder on myself. Now it’s all sorted which is such a relief) and it really just makes the situation a lot more stressful and difficult in the end. This is such a great topic to discuss. Wishing you the very best for 2016.

    Sarah’s Abode -xx

  • Reply
    Mikéla Davelyn
    January 21, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    I’ve been making a bunch of plans, too. January always seems to be a stressful month for me (and a lot of other people I’ve been noticing); I always get the winter blues and start stressing over things for the rest of the year. Making lists and trying to find the perfect morning has been helping, though.

    Hope you have a wonderful 2016!

    xo, mikéla /

  • Reply
    The Sunday Mode
    January 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    I think sticking with a routine in stressful times is really helpful. Often if I’m not doing any of my usual things that just makes me feel even more out of control. I also try to tell myself that everything happens for a reason and you’re never given anything you can’t handle- that helps to keep me grounded.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    I had one of the most stressful personal situations of my life last week – at the time I felt like everything was wrong and that there was no solution. Everything just fell into place in a matter of days. Looking back, it was all for the best, but at the time it was so hard to grasp. It’s hard to not get overwhelmed at the time, but it’s usually all better once you take a break and have time to think & process.

    I LOVE THIS POST! Such perfect timing.

    Margarita Chi | MARGARITACHI.CO

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 28, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Aww so sorry to hear that Margarita!! I think that things always find a way to fall into place, eventually. Hope you’re doing much better now!!

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 1:08 am

    This post had such perfect timing for me! Thanks so much for sharing your personal stories. xx Lita

  • Reply
    January 22, 2016 at 6:29 am

    I agree, keeping up your routine is the crucial bit. I never even thought about it but I think you are spot on. Because at the end of the day, even when the sh*t hits the fan, there is always time for the things that you enjoy doing. And in the end, its your routine, that will ease the stress and keep your head above water :)

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 28, 2016 at 11:03 am

      Definitely! I always start feeling a bit down when I don’t have time to keep up with my regular routine. xx

  • Reply
    Samantha Frances
    January 22, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I love posts like this! I let things get on top of me so much until I can’t concentrate on anything, I definitely need to get more organised! xxx

  • Reply
    Paula Loreti
    January 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    This is probably one of your best posts! Is so important to just breathe and take a moment when bad things happen. Thank you really much for doing this, I tend to forget this tips and stressed and cry and all that!

  • Reply
    Daisy Green
    January 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! It’s always good to read you’re not alone when things get tough and you mentioned some great points! I hope you are having a better week! xx

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    January 23, 2016 at 5:42 am

    I try to take thing one step at a time, and prevent myself from worrying to much. Which is, of course, easier said the done, but helps a lot. Staying on track with mental and physical health is very important, too. It might be yoga, meditation, running and most of all eating healthy. When you are stressed, you need to fuel your body, not fight it.

    Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 28, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Yes! Getting a good workout in can do wonders. I think this is why it’s so important to me to stick to my regular routine.

  • Reply
    Ela BellaWorld
    January 23, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Isn’t it annoying when one thing goes wrong then everything else seems to mess up? Then we are in a situation, we can’t handle. These are great tips, and we forget to do most of them. “Stay present” is probably one point that most of us don’t think about. We worry so much without thinking how bad it could be for us. I am not good at forgiving myself, I always over think about the things which I can’t change now. Things I can’t forgive myself for, it is really bad and I will try to focus on it.

    Ela BellaWorld

    • Reply
      Paula @
      January 28, 2016 at 11:24 am

      It always seems to go that way! I think that forgiving yourself is something that needs to be learned over time, but it does wonders for your soul :) I’m a huge over thinker too, but I find that keeping myself busy helps me deal with those racing thoughts.

  • Reply
    Nereyda Gonzalez
    January 26, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Oh man, sorry you had a tough week. My week was pretty shitty too, but unplugging from social media really helped. It’s crazy how everything bad seems to happen all at once. Hope your week is back to normal *hugs*

    Nereyda│ This Girl Is Obsessed

  • Reply
    January 27, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Love this, you’re so right! I especially need to remember to stay in the present, because thinking too far only makes things worse. xx
    Gyudy @ Gyudy’s Notes Of Beauty

  • Reply
    January 27, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Great tips! Staying present and taking a break are very important. Sometimes we forget to do that when we are overwhelmed. Sorry to hear about your bad week, I hope this week is off to a better start!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Great advice. I’ve never meditated – I don’t even really like the relaxation bit with yoga. Do you find it really helps start the day? z

    • Reply
      Paula @
      March 6, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Yes! It definitely does. You can even do it while still in bed in the morning. Just keep your eyes closed for five minutes and do some deep breathing, really concentrating on your breath.

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