GETTING OFF THE STRUGGLE BUS - How to Create Peace in Turbulent Times

Sometimes life can feel like it’s a long-ass ride on the struggle bus, and despite our best efforts, we just can’t seem to get off. 

In today’s episode we’re gonna talk about a few tricks to get you off that struggle bus, or at the very least, get the driver’s attention so you can create a little serenity in your life.

Welcome to the podcast, Unlocking Wellness! I'm Crystal McLain, Licensed Clinical Massage Therapist, and Self-Care Coach and I'm exploring ways to unlock our wellness barriers so we can create Self Care Independence, because we find our freedom when we’re living well.

Hello my friend, I hope you’re doing well, and if you’re not then I hope you find this episode helpful. AND, if you’d like to read along while you listen, I offer that feature at my website: You can find a direct link to this episode in the show notes below. And, if you want to make sure you never miss an episode, you can either sign up for my newsletter, or subscribe to my podcast wherever you like to listen most. 

Also, if you’d like to support my efforts in providing practical and affordable self care resources to those you need it most, you can join my friends with benefits over at Patreon and score some sweet perks to help you create Self Care Independence. Memberships start at just $5/month. Or, if you’d rather, you can make one time contribution and drop a little coin in my PayPal account. No amount is too small, and I appreciate the exchange of love and support. 

So, if you’re into it, I’ll leave links to all this stuff below in the show notes.

Alright, let’s get to it. 

So, I’ve been reviewing the last year and a half, and I’ve gotta say, I’m super impressed with myself. You may be perceiving me  as being cocky right now, but honestly, I don’t care. Because I totally rocked it. Pandemic aside, there have been several, transitions, losses, expenses, complications, and general life-fuckery that’s come up. And through it all, I managed to process these circumstances pretty well. I didn’t slip down into the dark rabbit hole of catastrophizing, self medicating, or crippling anxiety…at least, not for very long. 

I mean, we all dip our toes into those dark, murky waters, right? That’s part of being human. If you didn’t have or entertain these emotions, worries, or concerns, then I’d say we need to evaluate your processing system. But the truth is, life is full of complications, losses, and general fuckery, and you’re supposed to feel the consequences of that. No one’s getting out of this life unscathed. And there’s something quite beautiful about that.

I’ve always appreciated the collective suffering. It feels less lonely knowing that we all have our shit to face.

And I guess this is a good place to start talking about the things that we can do to create a little peace during our turbulent times. 

So, yeah, we all dip our toes into the dark pool of emotions. That’s totally normal. But when we find ourselves there, we have a couple of choices, right? One choice is that we can stay at the shallow end, pay attention to how we feel, splash around in our woes for a bit, and then turn around and walk out when we’re ready to move on. Or, the other choice is to keep walking in, deeper and deeper, until we’re in over our heads, treading water, and exhausting ourselves.

Now, we’re gonna to talk about the things you can do while you’re splashing around in the shallow end, and give you a couple of tools help you move out of the pool. But first, let’s talk about how we end up in over our heads. 

Essentially, it’s because we have a fixed mindset. Mindset, by the way, is the first key to creating Self Care Independence. But when our mindset is fixed, we have a hard time seeing beyond our roadblocks, our misfortune, or our shortcomings. We tend to plant ourselves into the victim role, toss around a lot of blame or excuses, and judge things as good or bad. We don’t see the potential or the possibilities. We lack hope and trust. And we have a hard time going with the flow.

And when we’re operating from a fixed mindset, it’s hella hard to deal with turbulent times, so let’s move on… 

The opposite of having a fixed mindset is having a GROWTH mindset. And how we obtain a growth mindset is  by letting go of the reins. When we try to control situations that are quite honestly out of our control, or, rather, don’t need our control, we’re giving the subconscious brain a false sense of security. 

Now, it’s not my job to tell you why you might have security issues, you’re gonna have to take that up with your therapist. But I can tell you that when we’re going through turbulent times, we’re most likely experiencing emotions we’d rather not be feeling. 

Our subconscious wants us to believe that feeling scared, angry, frustrated, lonely, or any other unsavory way is going to harm us. 

It really doesn’t like feeling bad.

So, what the subconscious ends up doing, is sifting through your data bank, looking for something that typically make you feel “safe”. News flash, control is that something that makes you feel safe. And our crazy primal lizard brain will take this control and lead us to the things that make us feel “good”. 

Your subconscious quite literally tries to score you a dopamine boost, so that’s why we gravitate towards things like food, booze, shopping, sex, and a whole host of other delights. These stimulants do indeed make us feel better, but only temporarily. Putting a dopamine glaze on your troubled times does not make your troubled times go away, nor does it make processing them any easier. 

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t spend time doing the things you enjoy while you’re in your funk. Not at all. It’s really important that we find joy in dark times. But we also need to be careful that we’re not engaging in these activities in excess, or that we’re using them to avoid dealing with our current situations. 

There’s a difference between tapping out to give yourself a break from life’s challenges, and straight up escapism.

That’s why having self awareness is super important. Which, is the second key to creating Self Care Independence.

So, speaking of mindset, and awareness, and Self Care Independence, let’s get you a few tricks to help you navigate those dark and murky waters.


1. Call that bitch out. 

You know what? You’re going through a rough time, so call it what it is! Recognize that it’s hard, recognize how much it sucks. Allow yourself to rightfully feel your feelings. When you sit with your feelings and let them be what they are, you show your subconscious brain that you, indeed, are not going to die from them. 

This, my friend, actually builds something called, resilience. Which is the capacity to recover quickly from tough times. A super handy skill to have.

2. Give thanks to the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Gratitude is a wicked powerful tool. Especially when you find a way to appreciate ALL of the things, not just the good stuff. And gratitude is DOUBLE powerful when you don’t just think about how grateful you are for all of life’s unusual treasures, but if you feel this gratitude in your meat suit. 

What does gratitude feel like in your body? What color is it? What would you call it if not gratitude? Who’s the recipient of this gratitude?

Dig deep into the bones and see what you find. 

3. Find the diamonds. 

Though it is challenging, especially if you’re rolling with a fixed mindset, looking for the gorgeous gems in your challenges can be a beautiful skill to cultivate.

More often than not, difficult times can lend themselves to some pretty miraculous opportunities. 

Tough times can rattle us, and bring an awakening we’ve never known before. We have the opportunity to witness how precious and fragile life really can be, how precious and fragile we really are. And because life is finite, we should take care to live our lives from a heart centered place, with direction, purpose, and authenticity (which is the third key to creating Self Care Independence). 

Trauma and drama can totally help you sort out what your priorities are. Finding what your mind, body, and soul truly need is crucial. So that means taking the time and energy to create a life that motivates and inspires you. When you organize your priorities, it makes living an actionable life easier. And guess what, Action is the fourth key to Self Care Independence. 

And finally, we might find ourselves creating deeper connections with those who’ve helped us, those we’ve suffered with, with ourselves, or, even with something bigger. Having your world turned upside down will shed light on those who really do support you, and give you an opportunity to discover your own inner strength. Support, by the way, is the fifth and final key to creating Self Care Independence. 

So, my friend, while the shitty times in life can feel infinite, painful, frustrating, or however they might feel for you, please know that they’re an opportunity to shape you into a more flexible, compassionate, and resilient human being. And as long as you work on having a growth mindset, all that pressure you face can only make you stronger and more brilliant, just like a diamond.

If you’d like a guide to help you create a sense of peace and balance in your turbulent times, I have a sweet little download called, “Getting Off the Struggle Bus”. I’ll leave a link to that in the show notes below. And, just a reminder, that all of my friends with benefits over at Patreon will receive this download and ALL of my downloads for free! To learn more about becoming one my friends with benefits, check out the Patreon link below. And don’t forget, you can always find this episode and everything I spoke about today at my website, 

I love you. 
I appreciate you. 
Thank you so much for being here. 
I’ll see you soon. 


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