Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Anti-stress strategy: When life gives you lemons, slice them

I recently got an email informing me that April is Stress Awareness Month, which made me smirk. If you have a child with special needs—heck, if you have any children—you are aware of stress 365 days a year. For me, it's like radio frequency. Sometimes it's stronger, sometimes it's weaker, but it's always on.

My lack of me-time is such a mom cliché, but it's a big reason I walk around so wound up. And if anyone reminds me that I need to put the oxygen mask on my face first before I can help else, I will conk them on the head with my to-do list.

There are some excellent perks of this job, to be sure, and their names are Max, Sabrina and Ben. Yet they're growing up fast, which makes me aware that I'm getting older fast, which makes me think that I ought to better take care of myself.

So then I had a little epiphany the other day. I stopped by the supermarket to grab milk, and walked by a display of lemons. They looked so cheery that I bought a few. (Fun fact: March 31 is National Oranges and Lemons Day, and if you missed it, there's always next year.) (FYI, March 31 is also National Tater Day, something worth honoring right this very second.)

When Ben went down for a nap, I decided to put a slice of lemon in a cup of ice water. I slid a fancy paper straw through the hole in the center and admired my handiwork. Purty!

I sat at the kitchen table. I sipped. And wow, it felt good.

I'd done something just for me.

Not a treat—ice water doesn't exactly qualify—but a slice of encouragement to slow down and enjoy. I don't always have to be that person standing and chugging water out of a bottle (or more often, that person who neglects to drink enough). I may not have time to regularly get to the gym or get regular mani-pedis, but I sure can drop a slice of lemon in my ice water.

My days aren't exactly zen now, except I've been sipping lemon water through a fancy straw and it makes me feel good.

Today, a lemon slice. Tomorrow, maybe I'll slather on some hand lotion. Baby steps, people.

Happy Stress Awareness Month! Celebrate!


  1. Love this post! I've felt the same way so many times! My "me time" is usually a 10 minute bath when the kids go to bed, before I have to start getting more blogging work done, but maybe tonight... I'll add the lemon to my water too :)


  2. I am really trying to do this more, too. "Me time" includes a walk and a cup of Starbucks. Sometimes I do 20 minutes, other times an hour. As I set to embark on my Masters next year, while potentially student teaching and having no idea what I'm doing... plus my son starts high school DEAR GOD... it's truly about the little things that keep me going. Thank you for your blog always being here. I read you off and on and I relate so much. Keep going!

  3. When life gives you lemons, eat them.


Thanks for sharing!

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