Parenting is challenging at the best of times but when you add Allergy management to daily life, it can be stressful. We all go through patches when we are particularly stressed for whatever reason. Here are my tips for getting through:
- Positive thinking – we are unable to change food allergies but we can change the way we think about it. If you find yourself with lots of negative thoughts about food allergies (or other thoughts) write them down and then try to come up with a positive thought next to it.
- Deep breathing – firstly, you DO have the time for this. It takes 3 minutes and if you feel time poor, do it in the car when you are driving! When the kid(s) are asleep, even better. Do a quick scan of your body to check for tension. Take a long deep breath in through your nose (counting to three seconds) and breathe out (to three seconds). Notice your breath as it goes in and then all the way down to your abdomen. When you breathe in, hold it for a moment and then release. Repeat for 2-3 minutes until you can feel the tension leaving your body.
- Take time out to nurture yourself – it is impossible to look after other people when you are not taking care of yourself properly. We can become agitated, stressed and resentful if we don’t make time to relax or do things for ourselves that gives us meaning. I find placing things around the house a helpful reminder. For instance, leaving books by the bedside or near a comfy couch for easy access, a box of sewing, a journal for writing thoughts, hand cream on the coffee table or kitchen. Small things are important because larger activities and goals can sometimes feel out of reach when we are busy and so we might not make time for it. Make time for the small things, because they matter.
- A mindful moment –
- Take a 10 minute walk and notice your surroundings what you can see, hear and smell.
- Lie down for 10 minutes and focus only on your breathing and be aware of your thoughts.
Being calm filters down to our children and to those around us. You will notice that you can cope better with daily struggles when you are less tense, less anxious and less worried.