6 mantras to survive an ongoing catastrophe

When it can't get worse, and then it does, "This too shall pass" doesn't sound reassuring. Maybe your dog died the same week your boyfriend broke up with you ... right before your birthday. Or you get into a car accident on vacation and are woken from your muscle-relaxer haze to find your already damaged car vandalized.

Or maybe your heart is broken with no fix in sight, not even time.

These are some thoughts I treasure when I'm deep in the anxious muck. Mantras are "fake it til you make it." For me, "making it" has never been waking up one day to find my outlook changed and all my dramas resolved in a climactic musical number. It's more of a gradual shedding of layers of grime from your soul.

I hope they help you when you need a perspective adjustment.

"I'm sure glad that's over!" Done. In the can. Next episode, next adventure. This South Park catchphrase frames a situation with a sense of relief and finality — even if you know another hurdle is on the way.

"The strongest part of me runs the show." An upgrade from my much-used "I'm not going to let the weakest part of me run the show." Shove the part of you that's scared, negative or broken aside and let Big Mama/Papa take care of you.

"Nothing is as bad as it seems." Here's a thought exercise for you. Think back to a time you were struggling. Can you remember the intensity of your fear and how much you obsessed over the problem getting resolved? When it did get resolved, was the intensity of your gratitude even close to the level of your fear, or did you not even notice your prayer had been answered? Remember that even when your worst-case scenario becomes reality, it won't cause the sun to stop rising, and it won't make people run for cover as a firebomb hurls to the Earth from an alien spaceship. Nothing is as bad as it seems. You are stronger than you realize.

"I'm (your first name) fucking (your last name)!" And don't you forget it. Consider this your self-confidence battle cry. Just don't make it an actual battle cry and punch people. Violence is not the answer!

"Everything will be OK because it has to be." You've got stuff to do.

"This is a footnote in my life story." In your fascinating memoir years and years from now, this gut-snaring disaster might not even make it as a funny-after-the-fact anecdote. It might just be a footnote in your awesome story. So ride it out, beautiful. You're gonna live.

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