13 Signs Your Life Is A Hot Mess — And How To Get It Together

It's not necessarily a good thing, but there are ways to bounce back.

woman is a mess G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock

We all have heartaches, down periods, tribulations, and stressors in our life. When you take a mental photograph of your whole life from birth to today, chances are you're going to have some serious gray and black splotches.

But overall, you wake up each day and do what you have to do. You've got it together. Unless, of course, you're a hot mess.

The bad news is people are most likely judging you or being empathetic toward you. The good news is everyone becomes a mess now and then. But when your life has a constant orange roadblock sign in it and everyone, including yourself, decides that your life is a lost cause, that's where the problems arise.


What does it mean to be a ‘hot mess’?

Being a "hot mess" is like living life in a whirlwind! It's when everything feels a bit crazy, from juggling school and friendships to dealing with all your emotions. It's when everything is all over the place and life feels a bit crazy. It's when you're also a bit confused or out of whack, like taking on too much stuff at once.

So, if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed or things are just all over the map, you might be having a hot mess moment. It's not a big deal; it just means things are a bit wild right now, but it happens to everyone.



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Here are 13 signs your life is a hot mess.

1. You lack focus.

Your inability to focus has caused you so many problems that even you can't begin to count them. Trying to concentrate on anything feels like an Olympic-level challenge, and it's caused a bunch of issues. From missing deadlines to forgetting plans, it's a real struggle.

Perhaps you've walked into a room and said to yourself, "Wait, what was I supposed to do again?" It's like your brain has its own agenda, and it's not on the same page as your life planner. But hey, we're all a work in progress, right?

2. You feed into the drama.

You're always in a fight with someone — never the same person, but many people and most of your relationships are marked with a damaging tone. Rather than avoid drama, you welcome it with open arms.

Most likely, you're choosing to befriend and love people who treat you terribly, and then entwine you in heartache and stress.


signs your life is a messPhoto: Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels

3. You spend money faster than you make it.

You're not able to budget your money even if you're making a decent salary, and your job stability is a laughing matter. Managing money is like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube, blindfolded. Even though you're making some cash, it's like the money comes in, and poof! It's gone.

Budgeting? That's a foreign concept. Job stability? It's like your career has a sense of humor — it's just not a funny one.


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4. You've burned all your bridges.

You have burned necessary bridges, which has made your life tougher. In some cases, the bridges needed to be burnt, and in others, they were clearly your fault and were a result of hasty decision-making.

You did this because you were panicking, angry, upset, or embroiled with a toxic person who turned your life upside down — and you let them!

5. You have mood swings.

You're happy one minute and then, the next, you're a wreck. You lash out at people and find yourself profusely apologizing, only to then do it all over again. The cycle continues.


Mood swings are like surprise parties you didn't sign up for. It's this cycle of going from "I'm sorry, really sorry" to "Oops, did it again." It's like emotions have their own DJ and the playlist is all over the place. Work on your emotional playlist or invest in mood stabilizers, or both.

6. You're pitied by everyone you know.

People pity you and sometimes it's deserved and out of legitimate hardships. Other times, it's because the person doesn't understand how you function.

Sure, there are legit tough times, and yeah, the pity is fair game. But then there are moments when they're handing out sympathy like it's candy, and you're just standing there, like, "Do you even get me?" It's this mix of deserved "aww" and "I have no clue what's going on with you" kind of pity.



7. You avoid the people closest to you.

Your dearest friends, who love you despite everything, are there for you — to a point. They have stopped extending their hand and offering too many favors because they don't want to enable you.


It's like your ride-or-die crew is still there, but there's this unspoken limit. They used to say, "I got you, no matter what," but now it's more like, "I got you, but only so far."

It's not that they don't care; they just don't want to enable you. They've cut back on the favors, probably worried they're feeding your chaos. It's a tough love method to keep you on your toes and remind you that even the best of friends have their boundaries. Time to level up and show them you can handle your own stuff.

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8. You look for an easy way out.

You're always looking for the easy answer or a quick fix to make things better, rather than doing the hard work to make real and permanent life changes. You've got this magical thinking cap that's always on. Instead of putting in the sweat and tears for a real, lasting change, you're on the hunt for shortcuts and quick fixes.


You want a superhero to swoop in and solve everything with a snap of their fingers. Reality check: life doesn't come with a cheat code.

You need to ditch the easy-way-out mindset and roll up your sleeves for serious life construction. Maybe it's time to trade in the quick fixes for a toolbox of perseverance and hard work that builds a life that lasts.

9. You have at least one enabler in your life.

There's always some enabling you to continue to live your life recklessly.

You've got this invisible support crew that inadvertently keeps you on the reckless train. Whether it's friends, family, or even your own habits, there's always something or someone making it a bit too easy for you to stay in this chaotic lane.


It's not that they want to see you struggle, but they're unknowingly handing you the keys to your own mess. Time to break free from this cycle, have an honest chat with yourself and those close to you, and maybe set up roadblocks to keep you from veering off into reckless territory again.



10. You still haven't gotten over past heartaches.

Your list of past heartaches is extensive, long, and completely heart-wrenching. In this way, it makes it easy for someone to understand why you're a hot mess.

But while most people eventually move on when they have their heart broken, you choose to stay in the past, wallowing in your pain, and never putting your best foot forward to move on to greener pastures.


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11. Your family life isn't the best.

Most likely, you've got a conflicted family life, and one that's marked by absence, drama, or coldness. It's these dark roots that taught you that the chaotic way is the best way to live.

Your family is not the only one at fault, but they may have ingrained the chaotic way of life into you. You'll need to fight back.


12. You might be an addict.

It could be drugs, gambling, shopping, or drinking. It could be anything, but if your life is peppered with addiction, you might be a hot mess. And that's no way to live your life.

Get some help from a professional, please.

signs your life is a messPhoto: Liza Summer / Pexels

13. You rely on others to fix you.

It's not unusual for you to look to some guru, religion, or other people for guidance. Of course, a few months later you're over it and onto the next person or fad. It's like you'll do anything to seek out answers to your problems.


You're a serial "fix and dump." The person helps for a bit, then you lose them and keep going on with your life. It's not healthy for anyone.

What To Do When Your Life Is A Mess

When life is all messed up, first figure out what's bugging you the most — problems at work, with friends, or anything you can think of. Then, take things one step at a time instead of freaking out about everything collectively.

Make a to-do list and tackle one thing at a time. It's okay to ask for help from friends, family, or even professionals if you need it. And don't forget to do stuff that makes you happy, like watching a favorite show or going for a walk.

Taking care of yourself helps sort things out when everything seems crazy. So take some "you time" to clean your life up a bit.


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Laura Lifshitz is a former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate currently writing about divorce, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, and marriage. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Working Mother, PopSugar, and more.