We all know life can get messy fast. If life gets too messy, though, it can be difficult to show up at work. Ironically, adding no job and a major income cut to a messy life event can create the messiest and most difficult-to-manage situation of all.

It’s important to find a way to organize and manage our personal lives in a way that won’t prevent us from showing up at work. Sometimes, we don’t have the power to “fix” the issue causing the mess, but we always have the power to manage our reaction to a situation. Here’s how to cope when life feels like a rollercoaster:

Get organized: When life gets messy, you will probably have a bunch of random tasks that pop up. Make a to-do list for these short-term things that need to be done. Make another list of things you need to do on a daily basis (like setting your alarm clock or feeding the cat). Use these lists, especially when things start getting wild.

Plan ahead: If you know an event that will upset your normal routine is going to happen ahead of time, make sure you have a plan to manage the event. Your lists (above) will come in handy.

Protect your mental health: When you are bouncing between the routine of work and the chaos of a life event, it’s easy to become stressed and feel overwhelmed. Give yourself time to calm down and relax whenever you can.

Respect your physical needs: As a human being, you simply can’t function for long if you don’t take care of your basic physical needs, like eating nutritious food and getting enough sleep. Know your limits and find a way to take care of your physical needs.


  • When was the last time you dealt with a difficult or crazy situation? Were you able to balance going to work and your day-to-day activities with the crazy event, or did you feel like things were falling apart?
  • What are some coping strategies you can use to stay on track when life gets crazy?
  • Do you keep a to-do list on your phone or in a notepad? If not, what are some ways a to-do list could help you stay organized when life gets crazy?