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Love Yourself Food Allergy Parents!

Happy March!

The beginning of the month is always a fresh start for me.  I love to think about what I am  going to focus on for the month.  For me it is going to be my self care and my continued focus on minimalism in my life.  

As allergy parents we tend to constantly be thinking about the what if’s.  We plan until we drop and we always want to be one step ahead.  This can be very helpful in the food allergy world, but there will be a time of complete burn out if we don’t take care of ourselves.  

I wanted to dedicate some time to talking about ways an allergy parent can start thinking about themselves a little bit more.  This will not only make you feel better, but you will be better able to care for your children.  Honestly, this blog post can benefit all parents, not just parents of children with food allergies.  



First, get some alone time.  I know this is easier said than done, but silence is golden.  Clear your mind, read a book, take a bath.  I don’t care what it is you do, just do it alone!;)

My chosen alone time is yoga.  I have taken to yoga over the last three years and it has completely changed my life.  I went to it for physical help, but it ended up helping me emotionally and spiritually as well.  I am even considering getting certified as a yoga instructor, so I can help others.  I actually stood on my head for the first time yesterday!  Believe me, that was never in my thought process when I first started yoga, but the more you practice you will be stunned at what you can achieve and stillness is one of them.  

Mediation also aligns with yoga and emotional/spiritual health.  It lets you be in the moment.  Stay mindful.  Not let your head race in a thousand different directions, which definitely happens as an allergy parent.  

Meditation doesn’t need to be sitting with your legs crossed and eyes closed.  Hiking can be a form of meditation.  Even washing the dishes!  Did she just say washing the dishes?  Yes, I did!  The definition of mediation is “to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one’s breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purposes of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness.”  Washing the dishes lets me concentrate on just that one thing at that one moment.  Staying mindful and even taking slow deep breaths in and out can be a form of meditation.  The bottom line is you want to stay mindful.  You want to push away intrusive thoughts.  Just focus on breathing or the action you are doing at the moment.  This will calm you.  


Second, go out to eat without your children.  I know, you may have a twinge of guilt, but that’s okay.  Time with your partner and/or friends without children is a healthy thing to do whether your children have food allergies or not.  But when they do have food allergies, going out to eat without them allows you to put your guard down around food.  This is not something we can do when our children are with us.  We are always double checking ingredients, talking to chefs, wiping down tables, etc and we really don’t always get to enjoy the food we are eating.  Take the time to do just that.  Order what you want and enjoy it.  


Third, spend time with your children doing activities not centered around food!  Some people think everything must be centered around food.  Let me tell you that is not the case.  Activities such as science, history or art museums, movies, hikes, skiing are so much fun and food isn’t a part of them.  You may have to pack a quick lunch, but that is easy by now if you are a long time allergy parent.  Eat in the car.  Don’t make it the focus.  We are heading to a Slime Museum in a couple of weeks and do you think anyone is going to be thinking about food allergies when we are there?  Nope!  Just getting crazy with slime!:)


If you feel that talking with other parents about food allergies would be helpful in relieving some stress and helping you with self-care, go to the online social media support groups.  There are tons of families with food allergies that want to support one another.  Let me just give you a word of caution, though.  Sometimes you think you will feel better after visiting these groups and the opposite can happen.  With tens of thousands of people in the groups you may get sucked into someone else’s anxiety and then you can go down a rabbit hole that may be hard to get out of.  So tread lightly in these groups.  


Another option you have is to sign up for group huddles with me and other allergy parents.  I like to do these huddles monthly where allergy parents get together and chat. I usually have a specific topic that I will be talking about as a food allergy dietitian and mom, but sometimes I use it as a question/answer session or to talk about getting ready for vacations or whatever may be on everyone’s minds.  If this is something that interests you, reach out to me through my website at https://eatinghealthy4life.com/contact/ and I will let you know when the next huddle will be.  


This may be my favorite self-care tip… BE KIND TO YOURSELF!  You can’t do it all.  It’s that simple.  You are human.  If you need help, ask for it.  See how much you do accomplish and pat yourself on the back.  Being an allergy parent is tough.  Acknowledge it, but don’t dwell on it and give yourself some kindness and love.  If you aren’t in that headspace right now to do that, reach out to me and I will show you the love because I know you are a rock star!


If you have tried all of the above and you still don’t feel you are in a good space, you can always reach out to a specialist and talk it out.  There are therapists dedicated to helping the allergy community.  If this is something you are looking for, reach out to me and I will point you in the right direction.  


Treat yourself with love and take the time to care for yourself. 

All my love and kindness, 


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