If the stress of life gives you lots of lemons, you can make lemonade with help

Everyone at some point in their life will feel overwhelmed by life’s stresses. Whether it be health, financial, or relationship difficulties these can cause both physical and mental harm if not addressed. This is especially true if these stressors keep adding on.

Imagine that you have a box that you use to house all your life’s stresses. There may be times when your box hardly has anything in it while other times it may be close to full. Your happiness correlates to how full this box is and how long it takes to empty.

I can speak firsthand how difficult it is when my box overflows. IT IS HELL. I won’t lie to you, there are times I do not know how I can get through it all but then I sit back, take some deep breaths in and out and I remind myself that I will be okay. Sometimes I only need to do that just once, other times I have to deep breathe many times a day. Does that make my problems go away, no, but it does let me think more clearly on how I can work through these difficulties and come up with a plan.  I also try not to look at my obstacle as a whole, I break my problem down into smaller pieces so that it becomes workable…easier to tackle.


When I was diagnosed with cancer, for example, I was like a deer in the headlights. I was totally overwhelmed but then I took control of my fear and I came up with a plan. I researched everything about it so that I could make educated decisions on my treatment options. I sought out support from my family and friends so that I did not feel alone. I also made sure that I had some fun in my life so that I could take a break from cancer.

There was one thing I regret not doing at that time–seeking out help from a psychologist/therapist. I thought that I was a strong person, I can get through anything. Thankfully I did seek out some help shortly after when other health/life issues affected me and my quality of life. I was not coping well and I knew I could not get myself in the best mental health without help. I cannot tell you how freeing it was not only admitting that I needed help but to actually seek it out.

Why am I sharing my story with you? Because there is nothing wrong in admitting you need help and it could save your life. If your mental health is not in a good place, your physical health will be affected too. Stress causes increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, weight gain, sleep problems, anxiety, stomach issues, pain, and even depression. Stress is unhealthy.


Never discount what you are going through. I cannot tell you how many people tell me that their issues are so much less than the next persons and they should be able to handle it. I just want to shake them and say “STOP THINKING THAT, YOUR PROBLEMS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT!”

leomonadeGetting lemons in life is unavoidable, some people just may have more bushels than others. I used to hate the saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” because the saying trivializes the struggles people experience, after all, lemonade is pretty easy to make. But then I started to look at the saying a bit differently. What happens if we only have lemons but no tools to make lemonade or no recipe to follow? Yes, making lemonade would not be so easy anymore. Recognizing this distinction is helpful in understanding and accepting when you need to ask for help. After all, don’t you want to make the best possible glass of lemonade? I know I do.

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    Nancy Chodash

    I am a nurse practitioner who not only treats patients, but has had chronic illnesses including cancer so I understand how frustrating medicine can be. But through all this, I have never lost my sense of humor and my ability to make people laugh. I love to cook, and since becoming gluten-free a year ago, I have recipes for everyone's tastes whether it be healthy, decadent, vegetarian, or gluten-free. My philosophy is all about health, food, laughter and life!

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