7 Ways for Moms to Practice Self-Care

The need for consistent vigilance in order to prevent exposure to allergens coupled with the never-ending fear of anaphylaxis places a significant amount of stress on the parents of children with food allergies. Parents and mothers in particular, have the added stress of communicating the risks to others who are involved in caring for the child.¹

Communicating to others about your child’s food allergy can be very stressful and frustrating sometimes. Unfortunately, poor quality of life is significantly more likely among parents who have more knowledge about food allergies.² I guess the old saying that ignorance is bliss applies in this situation; however ignorance does not help you effectively manage your child’s food allergies. Parents whose children who had been to the emergency room for a food-allergy-related issue in the past year, had multiple food allergies, or where allergic to milk, eggs, or wheat also reported having a lower quality of life.³

As mothers are usually the primary care-givers for children with food allergies, they typically shoulder the brunt of the stress associated with their role and experience a greater amount of anxiety compared to dads. While some level of anxiety is good for effectively managing food allergies because it motivates you to gain information and support, too much stress and anxiety can negatively impact your quality of life. In order to effectively manage your child’s food allergies you have to effectively manage your own stress and take care of yourself. Doing so also helps you to model positive coping skills and self-care practices for your kiddos.

Here are 7 ways for moms to practice self-care:

  1. Eat well and enjoy your food. It is helpful for you to nourish your body and actually enjoy eating. Slow down and savor your meals. This is a lot less stressful for you and it shows your child that eating can be a fun and enjoyable experience.
  2. Move your body. Believe it or not, exercise is a great stress reliever and it’s good for your physical health, as well. You don’t have to commit to going to the gym every day–just pop on your favorite song and have a little dance break.
  3. Schedule me time. Make an appointment with yourself at least once a month to do something that allows you to relax and reenergize.
  4. Center yourself each day. Start your day off with some quiet time to ground yourself before the stress has a chance to creep in.
  5. Wind down each night. Create a wind down ritual before going to bed. Engage in activities that help you relax before you go to bed. It could be something like taking a shower or warm bath, reading a book, or saying a prayer. Avoid doing things right before bed that stress you out or keep you wide awake like watching television or checking in on social media.
  6. Keep a gratitude journal. It is easy to stress about the things that are less than ideal. Instead of doing that, keep the good things top-of-mind by writing them down each day.
  7. Ask for help or support when you need it. You don’t have to be superwoman. Ask those who care about you to help out when you need a hand.

These are just a few ideas of ways that you can take care of yourself. The possibilities are endless. In what area of your life could you use a little bit of self-care? Make a commitment to take care of yourself. Many moms have trouble with self-care because we are so self-less when it comes to caring for our kids. It is important to remember that you can’t be your best for your child if you don’t take care of yourself.

References:

  1. Jennifer S Kim, Eyal Shemesh, and Michael C Young, “Managing Food Avoidance Within the Home and Outside the Home, and Lifestyle Issues,” in Food Allergy Practical Diagnosis and Management. ed. Scott Sicherer. (Boca Raton FL: CRC Press, 2014). 203.
  2. Jennifer S Kim, Eyal Shemesh, and Michael C Young, “Managing Food Avoidance Within the Home and Outside the Home, and Lifestyle Issues,” in Food Allergy Practical Diagnosis and Management. ed. Scott Sicherer. (Boca Raton FL: CRC Press, 2014). 193.
  3. Jennifer S Kim, Eyal Shemesh, and Michael C Young, “Managing Food Avoidance Within the Home and Outside the Home, and Lifestyle Issues,” in Food Allergy Practical Diagnosis and Management. ed. Scott Sicherer. (Boca Raton FL: CRC Press, 2014). 193.
About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

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