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Often times, life doesn’t quite go the way we expect it to. Plans change, circumstances change, and people change. This is truly a curse and a blessing. While we’re blessed with spontaneous adventures and unexpected opportunities, when plans fall through, it can be unnerving for everyone. While this situation is absolutely stressful, I’ve always found that it is best for everyone involved to handle the unexpected with grace and poise. While it may be easy to blow up or have a meltdown, here are a few steps that can help you keep your cool when life throws you for a loop.

1.Breathe, breathe, breathe!


Not only is oxygen essential to the body, it is also cathartic. Take a minute to clear your head and calm your nerves. It can be helpful to close your eyes and just count slowly to ten. This will give you the time you need to slow your heart rate and get a handle on your emotions. When life gets rocky, the first key step is taking a minute to breathe.

2. Weigh all of your options


Once you’ve taken a moment to breathe, the next step is to consider all of the options you have. If you didn’t get that promotion you wanted, consider whether you want to push for the next one or if it’s time to start job hunting. If you just broke up with the guy whom you planned to spend the rest of your life with, consider how you want to spend your newfound free time. There are always options and step two involves taking a second to really think about all the exciting new opportunities in disguise that life has just presented you with.

3. Get advice


After you’ve laid out all of the possibilities, get some expert advice from your loved ones. My first call is always to my mom. Whomever you trust most – whether it be your roommate, older sibling, or a parent – sit down with them and explain the situation. I find it helpful to get multiple opinions from all ages so that I see my options from every angle. Never try to handle an unexpected road block on your own, chances are, someone has been through the exact same thing and can give you advice that will make things easier down the road.

4. Take your mind off of it

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This part is key. Once you’ve been over everything, take a break. Go shopping with your friends, settle in for a movie night, or soak in a warm bath. Take some time to relax. Remind yourself of all the wonderful blessings you have. This will give you a chance to put everything into perspective and help you remember that it’s a bad day, not a bad life.

5. Sleep on it


Make sure you sleep on this new change. Don’t be so quick to act that you’ve already made a decision before you’ve even had a chance to sleep on it. Getting some shut eye will rejuvenate you and give you a fresh energy. Being hit with an unexpected life change is hard enough, don’t try to take it on in just one day. Sleep will give you the energy and time you need to be sure you’re reacting in the best possible way.

6. Put your best foot forward


Once you’ve digested the news and determined a course of action, it’s important to put your best foot forward. Steer away from negativity and doubt. Show the world that nothing can stop you and hold your chin up high. By putting your best foot forward and keeping a positive attitude, you will demonstrate not only poise, but maturity as well. This will help ensure your success in this new, bold endeavor.