What do you do when you really need to blow off some steam?

Whether disability has always been in our lives or is our new normal, we all have rough days when reality can smack you in the face. It can feel unbearable.

I was at the breaking point recently after taking my son to the emergency room for yet another every day cold that turned into pneumonia. Dealing with all of the other things that pile up because of that one domino falling was taking its toll.

I’d like to say that chocolate or a cup of tea or meditation ease my stress. Those things help. But when “stuff” really hits the fan, a long, hard run while blasting the filthiest rap music I can find through my headphones is the best remedy. It takes me out of that caregiver mode for a brief moment in time and makes me feel like a badass.

Here’s a random survey of what sets others free:

“About 20 minutes in my bed alone, if you know what I mean …”

“Going to the batting cage and whacking the hell out of a ball.”

“I take walks listening to NPR.”


“Coffee with my ‘speed dial people.’ (AKA people who just get it)”

“Daily exercise and wine … not just a glass, the whole bottle. ;)”

“If I can get to the gym, it’s a good workout. If not, then yard work.”

“Watch meaningless television to escape the reality of my chaotic world.”

“Yard work: mowing, raking, planting, or full on landscaping.”

“Room revamping: painting, moving furniture, buying new furniture whenever I can afford it.”

“Organizing, sorting and getting rid of stuff is so therapeutic.”

“A good cup of coffee and a cigarette coupled with quiet time.”

“Exercise is key. I wake up at 5 o’clock every morning and read while riding the stationary bike. Without that release I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress.”


“I’m a singer. I practice singing for a bit before I go to work. It’s something just for me.”

“A long rant with so much profanity … to my poor husband.”

“A weekend away.”

“Knitting while listening to The Moth podcast. That or a gin and tonic with my husband.”

“I blast really loud, preferably angry pop music in the car whenever I drive alone.”

“Taking the children to the park. I enjoy being out in the fresh air and they are generally much easier at the playground.”

“Singing at the top of my lungs while driving in my car.”

“I go outside and feed all of the stray neighborhood animals. Squirrels, cats, birds, raccoons, dogs, basically anything that looks hungry.”

“A glass of red wine if it’s after 4. Chocolate. Bourbon.”

“Cleaning my house, pulling weeds, baking, dancing to loud music in the kitchen while cleaning or baking.”

“Skeet shooting whenever possible.”

“Going on a dream shopping spree Target or TJ Maxx. Putting any and everything in the cart that strikes my fancy. Then abandoning the cart and leaving the store without buying a thing. For some reason it makes me feel better every time.”

“Escaping to the ‘man cave’ listening to 80’s rock while smoking and drinking a Jack and Coke.”

“Losing myself in work. Some days fighting the most vile and evil men on Earth is easier than parenting. I need to remember there is no negotiating with terrorists, regardless of their size.”

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