As they say, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” But what does this mean, really? Take what you’ve got and make the most of it? Take what you’ve got and figure out how to turn things around?
Here are seven ways to deal with life when life has turned sour grapes.
Accept the situation for what it is
I’ve addressed how to accept things in another post, but a key ingredient when life has given you lemons is to accept the situation for what it is, as hard as it may seem.
Yes, you may resent it, you may want to blame someone for it, you may want to kick and scream and blame God for it, but acceptance is key to moving forward.
The faster you accept the situation, the better off you will be mentally, and the easier it will be to deal with it.
Be a survivalist – be determined
When life has given me lemons–which has happened more than once–I have always come out the other end, somehow. Only by trudging forward–with hard work, sheer determination, creative problem solving and some outside help–have I survived each time life has handed me a sour situation.
Honestly, it takes a survivalist mentality to get through. And it does take work, determination and creative problem solving.
So, when life gives you lemons, drum up your deepest survivalist mentality. Have the will, the determination and the drive to resolve the situation you are in.
Sometimes, stress can interfere with problem solving and moving forward. One must be calm, cool and collected to start the process of solving the problem. I know that when I am overly stressed, my mind does not function well. My adrenalin is running high, my anxiety is running high, and I am of no use to anyone, including myself.
So, a necessary step when facing a challenging situation is to calm down, and to remain calm. Whatever method works to de-stress yourself, use it, and use it regularly.
I personally use guided meditation videos on YouTube. There are literally thousands of guided meditations available online. These may not be of use to you, but I find them to be very helpful for relaxation and for clearing my mind.
Many use exercise as a method to de-stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which makes it easier to think more clearly. Exercise can clear the clutter from your mind, just as meditation does. Exercise is a form of physical exertion that can also help ease and release anxiety.
Ignore the negative naysayers
Most importantly, ignore all those who say you cannot do X, Y or Z to resolve your problem. YOU have the power and the control to take charge of a situation and turn it around. Only YOU know what’s best and what is possible to achieve.
So, ignore the words, “you can’t” and only think in terms of “I can”. A part of being a survivalist—of having determination and will–is knowing that you can. You can do this!!!
Being determined also takes being proactive. Start taking steps to resolve the problem. Write down an action plan. What is possible now that you’ve been given lemons? The situation seems sour and negative at first, but then what can you do about it? What is possible?
Write down all the possibilities that come to mind and begin to formulate a plan—a course of action. Then, act! Take steps. Write the steps down and then start pursuing them.
Try to stay positive through the situation. Yes, it is sour, and perhaps it is not fair. But you’ve already accepted the situation for what it is, you are dealing with it, you are taking steps and are being proactive. You have determination and the will to get through it.
Remain positive and solutions will present themselves to you. Sometimes, a solution will come out of nowhere, too.
Reach out for help
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get support from those around you. Some people may have solutions you haven’t thought of. Some solutions may not be realistic, but others may be possible.
You never know where a solution may come from, so talk to your friends and family, and get the support of a therapist, if need be. Sometimes, and depending on the severity of a situation, a therapist or a support group may be just the ticket you need to get through.
So, when life gives you lemons, don’t fear! There is a way out, if you follow the above steps and remain proactive and strong. You will come out on the other side! So, when life hands you lemons, I say, make lemon cookies!
Here’s to your happiness!