Life is excruciatingly hard some days. We make bad decisions and have to live with them. We get kicked down by others. Sometimes our own bodies are the cause of our suffering.
The proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’ catches us in its trap and next thing you know you’re sacrificing for your health. Or your family. Or both.
Things are harder than you thought they would be, right stepmom? You know what I’m talking about, chronic illness fighter.
So what can be done about it? How are you supposed to cope with life when you’re having your worst days?
Life doesn’t go to plan
If you’ve spent any time looking around this blog, you’ve probably seen me say, “Life has curves.”
There are days and times when you genuinely wonder if you’re going to make it through.
I spend my days talking to and helping women who are facing difficulties with their physical health, mental health, families, jobs, etc.
And they all have something in common….
Life has not gone to plan.
They received a diagnosis that changed them entirely.
They married a man with kids and now there’s more confusion/lack of control/strong feelings than they ever thought possible.
And I get it.
The anxiety is overwhelming. The pain is more than you know how to handle.
That’s where these ideas for overcoming bad days come in.
This page contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.
What to do when you’re overwhelmed
These are tips that come from real women.
Many of the women who read this blog can sympathize with one or some of these statements:
They experience Fibromyalgia pain.
They received another blood test back that explains everything. Or nothing.
They can’t remember what day it is or when the last time they felt good was.
Their stepkid just smarted off. And they’ve got another text from an ex who irrationally hates them.
The court orders are not clear. Attorneys have sucked them dry. And the same arguments are playing on repeat with their spouse.
The following coping tips are not in any particular order. Some might work for you while others would be detrimental to you.
I fully recommend taking a chance with something you’ve never tried before. You never know if the best thing for your mental and physical health is just waiting to be tried!
Pamper your hands/feet with paraffin wax
The gentled heat of the paraffin wax can be very relaxing. As can be the simple act of spending some time on yourself.
Added bonus, your hands and feet are going to be super soft!
You can go to a salon to get this treatment or buy a home kit. Personally, I like the home kit because sometimes I just don’t feel up to leaving the house.
Check this kit out on Amazon. It’s a complete kit for a reasonable price!
Relax with a pet
Obviously, this one will require you have a pet. Or have a pet you can easily access.
But there is something magical about running your hands through your pets fur. The relaxation and anti-stress benefits of a pet are well established.
Take a bath with a CBD bath ball
You get a double-whammy with this one. A bath can help relieve tension, pain, and anxiety.
It can help you relax and unwind.
When you add the hemp bath bomb, you get an added boost of relaxation and pain relief. For those unfamiliar with hemp, don’t worry…there is no THC and is therefore 100% legal and will not drug you in any way.
I like these ones from Amazon that contain both hemp and lavender oils.
Listen to music
This is a great way to disengage from worry, pain, and stress. It helps you experience the moment and keeps you from feeling all the overwhelm of life.
If you need more than just my assertion that music is helpful, check out this article from Harvard Health about the connection between the brain and music.
Do some form of physical activity
As Elle Woods said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”
And I can’t argue with that logic. But my advice, especially to those chronic illness women out there, is to take it easy.
If you’re undertaking exercise, start small and build up. Don’t go straight out and run three miles. Gentle stretches and yoga are a great place to start!
Relax with a good movie
Praise the Lord for Netflix. And Disney+.
They have enough offerings that you should be able to find a good movie to disengage with. Find a comfortable spot on your couch, grab a heating pad or neck massager, and enjoy a movie.
And DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT!
Be creative – paint, write, knit/crochet, sing, make something
There are endless ways to be creative and artistic.
And each way creates a personal time and place for you to de-stress and manage life. Not all of these require expensive supplies and lots of physical activity, either.
Find one that works for your needs and situation and give it a shot!
Read a book
This is a personal go-to. In other words, I read. A. Lot.
It helps me turn off my brain and stop worrying about health and family and everything else.
It gives me fun and interesting stories to engage with.
If you’ve never heard of it, let me introducte Kindle Unlimited. It is absolutely, without a doubt, the best $10 I spend every month. You can read any book that is part of the program for free. You can download up to 10 at any time, keep them for as long as you want, and return when you’re ready.
No waiting, either. With library digital downloads, you have to wait until the book is available. Not so with Kindle Unlimited.
Seriously, check it out here!!
You might also jump over to Sparkles At Midnight to read some of her amazing book reviews. Maybe you’ll find something you love!
Study the bible and pray
This is another of my go-to’s. I understand not everyone reading this is a Christian. But for me, my faith is hugely improtant to managing my chronic illness and surviving being a stepmom. Having a higher power to rely on takes a tremendous amount of pressure off little ‘ol me.
I imagine it’s the same effect for anyone of any religion.
I also like to read the bible for inspiration if I’m having a bad pain day.
Practice deap breathing exercises
This isn’t just taking big breaths. There are certain ways you can inhale that touch your vagus nerve.
Doing so has several specific health benefits.
If you’re looking for a good place to start with deep breathing exercises, check out this info from University of Michigan Medicine.
Get a massage or acupuncture
If you have chronic pain, the word massage may make you cringe. And anyone who thinks of needles being inserted into the skin may shiver when considering acupuncture.
But these are both amazing resources for stress and pain relief. You don’t have to take my word for it. Once again, you can read from Harvard Health how to use acupuncture for pain relief.
Take a nap with a weighted blanket
Seriously, though. These two things combined are AMAZING!
If you’ve never tried a weighted blanket, it’s time. They are hugely successful in relieving stress.
“By applying gentle pressure, a weighted blanket actually mimics therapeutic massage known as deep pressure touch stimulation. This firm pressure relaxes the nervous system and ‘triggers a chain reaction in the body that releases an overall sense of calm and peace.’” (Source)
You can read more about weighted blankets in my post of products for chronic pain.
Call a friend for a laugh
The saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine.”
And there is science behind that. But there is also common sense behind this. If you’re laughing, you’re going to boost your mood and forget (even if temporarily) what is weighing you down.
And if you can get these laughs from a friend, all the better!
This may sound a little ‘woo-woo’. But there is power in our words.
Have you ever noticed that if you’re thinking and saying negative things, it brings your mood down? The same is true for positive thoughts and words…they bring our mood up.
And if you can tell yourself over and over again that you’re not going to give up, you will feel 1000% stronger in following through!
Besides, we don’t need to repeat to ourselves all the ways our life is rough. Our brain already knows. Let’s spend time repeating the ways life is good!
Bringing it all together
If you’re facing bad days, there are things you can do to help you deal. There are strategies for coping with bad health. There are practices that will improve mental health.
You just have to be willing to try them.
And I get it. That’s not always easy. When you’re chest-deep in extreme pain, you just want to wallow a bit.
When your stepfamily is stressing you out, the thought that it could improve doesn’t seem likely.
That’s the exact reason I put this list of 14 coping tips together.
Bookmark this page and come back to it the next time you’re struggling. Hopefully you’ll find something new that will get you through this bad day and onto better ones!
Don’t forget it. Pin it!