What suggestions do you have to turn bad trends in life around (job, relationships, health of parent, etc.)?

The first thing that I would suggest is taking responsibility for the bad trends in your life, which isn't easy. Once you take responsibility and realize that you created these trends, and find out how you are responsible (which takes a lot of soul searching and emotions), you can deal with the deep seeded issues. (health of parents excluded). You need to recognize what you are doing in your life and how you are reacting to things in order to get control over what happens from now on. You can learn from the past, but you can't obsess over why things have happened. And you have to get over the feeling of things happening TO you, you need to realize that things are happening and you can either change them or keep going down the same path. It also has a lot to do with your perception on things. Taking responsibility and learning that you are in situations because you created them isn't easy, but it is the first step toward making positive changes. I've been through this, and what I have just described really helped me. I would also recommend 2 books: The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz, (very short book) and The Power of Intention, by Dr Wayne Dyer. Good luck to you!
First of all, I would focus on things that you do have control over.
The thing that comes to mind is your attitude. You can have either a blaming attitude (of others and perhaps even yourself) or a responsible attitude.

People are going to get sick, jobs will be lost, relationships go sour, and loved ones will die. That's life.

The only thing you have control over is how you react to it. If you want to shuffle through life as a victim, then nobody's stopping you, and you'll be miserable.
But if you take things one day at a time, and make small changes every day to improve your situation, with the right positive attitude, you will find that someday you will have the world by the tail. And you won't believe that you ever thought otherwise.

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