If you've ever gone through a difficult time and had someone share the well-intentioned platitude “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, this piece is for you.

Sometimes, just the thought of making lemonade with all the lemons you’ve been handed is too overwhelming - where to start?

The truth of the matter is that life is full of change that can throw you for a loop. Sometimes the changes are planned but other times, they might catch you totally off guard unexpectedly changing your life forever. If you’ve made it to our blog, chances are that a major cardiac event shook up your life completely.

When something big like that happens, it's up to us to decide what we’re going to do with the lemons we’ve been handed – are we going to eat them or do our best to make lemonade?

Something I’ve found to be helpful has been to bring it all back to focusing on the basics of self-care and prioritizing self-love. That can mean taking stock of how you’re nourishing your body and making a conscious effort to reach for nutrient-dense foods.

Many of the convenient foods we might reach for when we’re feeling down are processed and often contain chemicals, sugar, and preservatives. These additives wreak havoc on our bodies interfering with our sleep, mood, and even our energy levels. In the end, they will end up giving you more lemons than lemonade during an already difficult time.

Prioritizing nutrient-dense foods can help you to heal in every way: physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. An easy way to identify these foods is to choose foods in their most natural form like whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean unprocessed animal protein.

Aside from focusing on nutrition, some other foundational self-care practices to institute when you’re feeling stressed include the following:

  • Make sure you’re getting enough rest by committing to a set bedtime. Setting a time-to-get-ready-for-bed alarm can help.
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • Prioritize eating raw fruits and vegetables every day. Something about the cold crunch makes me feel good.
  • Move your body every day. Whether it’s something simple as walking the dog or more involved like yoga or running trails through the woods.
  • Say “no” to anything and anyone who drains your energy or who doesn't positively feed your soul.

When you’re feeling low, it can be hard to motivate yourself but focusing on incorporating basic self-care and practicing self-love in your daily routine will eventually make a difference. Life goes on, though it may look and feel different than what you had imagined, if you commit to taking care of yourself, you will once again enjoy the lemonade.