As they say, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” Or, make cookies! But what does this mean? 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.
1. Accept the situation
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 emotionally, and the easier it will be to deal with it.
2. Be a survivalist – be determined
When life has given me lemons – which has happened more than once – I have always come out on the other side. Only by trudging forward with hard work, sheer determination, creative problem solving and outside help, have I survived each time life has handed me a sour situation.
It takes a survivalist mentality to get through a difficult life situation. And it does take work and determination.
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.
3. De-stress yourself
Sometimes stress can interfere with problem solving and moving forward. One must remain calm, cool and collected to start the process of finding solutions. When I am overly stressed, my mind does not function well. My adrenaline and anxiety run 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 thousands of guided meditations available online. These may not be of benefit to you or suit your style, 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 relieve anxiety.
4. Ignore the naysayers
Most importantly, ignore all those who say you cannot resolve the 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 strong will — is knowing that you can. You can do this!!!
5. Be proactive
Being determined also involves 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 now 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.
6. Be positive-minded
Try to stay positive through the situation. Yes, it is terrible and perhaps unfair. However, you’ve by now accepted the situation for what it is, you are dealing with it, you are taking steps and you are being proactive. You have the determination and will to overcome it.
Remain positive and solutions will present themselves. Sometimes a solution will come out of nowhere and when you least expect it. Be open-minded.
7. 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 considered yet. 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, or get the support of a therapist if necessary. 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 determined. You will come out on the other side! So, when life hands you lemons, I say, make lemon cookies!
Here’s to your happiness!