Life can feel utterly overwhelming at times. Unexpected challenges, like losing a loved one or finding yourself unemployed, can arise when least expected. Even positive life changes like having a new baby or buying a house can sometimes feel like too much while you’re experiencing them.

If your life is sweeping you off your feet — and not in a romantic way — here are a few thoughts and suggestions to help you maintain a positive attitude and stay the course until the chaos subsides.

Cling to Your Routines

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to toss aside small routines as you constantly run around putting out fires. However, often it is the predictability of the routines that you sew into the fabric of your life that helps you maintain your sanity. 

If, for instance, you don’t have a good morning routine, you should consider establishing one. Consider what it is that helps you get up every day. What pushes you to get going? What can you add to your routine that will give it more value and help you start each day on the right foot? 

Meditating each morning can be a great way to start your day off in the right mindset. Even if you don’t have time to properly meditate or pray, though, don’t underestimate the power of a calm commute. Even if you work from home, there is still great benefit in taking 20 or 30 minutes of “commute time” to allow yourself to prepare for the day ahead.

Schedule Everything

There’s a time and a place for scheduling. If you’re on vacation, you don’t want to over plan each day so that you can enjoy things as they come. When life is overwhelming, on the other hand, that’s when you want to schedule everything in sight.

The goal isn’t to control and manipulate your problems until they go away. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, maintaining a thorough schedule simply helps you keep things on your radar. It helps you see what’s coming and allows you to head off conflicts before they become an issue.

A well-maintained schedule can keep you happy, productive, and at peace, like a puppy or newborn babe.

Embrace Being Part of the Whole

It was Einstein who said: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe…” The scientist’s wisdom goes on to encourage everyone to widen their circles of compassion for all living things and the beauty of nature.

Taking time to appreciate the larger point of life and the world that we all share can be a great way to temper the stress and anxiety that eat away at your sanity throughout the day. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by problems that loom like mountains, step back, gain some perspective, and watch them melt away into the molehills that they truly are.

Get Quality Sleep

Before you roll your eyes and think to yourself, “there’s no way that’s happening right now,” and move on to the next point, it’s worth taking a moment to consider this one.

Good sleep consists of two things: quantity and quality. Even if you can’t get eight tight hours of sleep per day, you can still take some time to focus on the quality of the sleep that you are getting. 

Often, sleep disorders can quietly wreak havoc on your slumber, leaving you feeling exhausted and tired no matter how long you stay in bed. Take some time to figure out if you are struggling with a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. If you are, look for ways to address the issue.

Even if you don’t have a sleep disorder, try to take steps to increase the quality of your sleep, like:

  • Making sure your bedroom is only for sleeping.
  • Avoiding electronics before bed.
  • Keeping your room dark while you sleep.
  • Avoiding exercising or eating too close to bedtime.

Focus on the Positive

Whether you’re shifting your mindset, getting better sleep, meditating, or using any other coping mechanism, there are many ways to maintain your composure when the world feels like it’s crumbling around you.

If you can manage to step back and gain that big-picture perspective, it will bring a sense of calm that can endure through the most hectic, chaotic moments that life has to offer.