I would say what has helped me is knowing that however bad things feel and seem at one particular point - it will get better with time. When I was a girl and my dad died I paid attention to the grieving process which seems to rise and fall. Sometimes it would be so painful it seemed unbearable, but it would lessen and feel better, then again sometimes it got bad again.
I have always remembered that and think about it whenever life seems to just hand you too much - I know that at some point, it will lessen and give me relief.
And of course always--always prayer.