Being a food allergy mom is tough sometimes. Well, being any kind of mom is tough sometimes, right? We all have our up and downs.
As a food allergy mom though, you have the extra worry of making sure that what your child is eating is safe. You spend countless hours reading labels, calling and emailing companies, and talking to care givers about safety guidelines and action plans.
Your mind is always, always whirring along, checking and double checking to make sure you’ve covered everything. You’re so busy taking care of everyone else, you often forget to take care of yourself.
I know how that goes, because I’ve been there myself. Since my son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, taking care of myself is the last thing I think about. I know that if I do take the time for self care, I feel better and everything seems a little bit easier, so I’ve started to change my ways.
But you have so much going on, and simply don’t have time to incorporate lengthy self care routines into your schedule. I hear you! Neither do I. But you can do a few simple things to help yourself feel better, and they don’t have to take up a ton of time.
5 Simple Tips for Self Care for Food Allergy Moms (or any moms!)
I know it, you know it…we need our sleep. But it’s hard to get sometimes! I know there are nights when I am SO tired, but I still have things on my mind, and I wind up checking food company websites, reading food allergy news, or scaring myself by reading too many Mayo Clinic articles. ;)
Sleep is so important. I’ve started writing down the things I actually need to check out online, and just doing a couple at a time during daylight hours. I’m trying to read at night instead of being online, and I make an effort to go to bed much earlier. When I get plenty of sleep, I find that I worry less. Everything seems much easier to handle. It’s not always possible to get to bed early, but I do prioritize sleep more now. When I am rested, I can care for my family more effectively.
2. Stay hydrated.
As soon as I start to feel a little foggy, I immediately think, did I drink enough water today? I get so irritable and feel so off when I’m dehydrated. I always joke that my brain is drying up! Being dehydrated has a lot of negative effects on your body, so it’s important to make it a priority to stay hydrated.
If you find plain water too boring, it can be fun to make infused water. Plus it feel like a special treat to have a glass of fruit flavored water. I love to put berries or citrus fruits in my water – it’s so refreshing and flavorful!
This is where I have struggled the most. It is really hard for me to find time to exercise. I like to walk, but on rainy or wintery days, that doesn’t always work out. I also like to do yoga, but I can’t always get to the yoga studio. I recently started doing some of Yoga With Adriene’s routines, and I really love them.
But maybe even a short video sounds like too much. And let’s be honest, sometimes watching a show on Netflix sounds better than exercise, right? Sometimes I’ll just combine the two and do some easy yoga or strengthening moves on the floor while watching TV. It feels so good to stretch and strengthen rather than just sit on the couch. And it’s simple to do! The hardest part was just changing my habit of sitting.
4. Skin and hair care.
I know I’ve grown a few grey hairs on this food allergy journey…and probably a fine line or two. What about you?
One way you can care for yourself is to take time to invest in your health through your skin and hair care routine. You can make your own bath and body products if that appeals to you – and the time taken to be creative can be relaxing, too. Whether you make your own products, or use your favorite brand names, take a few minutes in the morning and evening to enjoy a beauty routine that refreshes you.
I love to start and end my day with this pure rose water toner (affiliate link)- the scent is light and it makes my skin feel refreshed.
5. Treat Yourself.
You are a super mom, a food allergy rockstar! You deserve to treat yourself like one.
Whether it’s a new pair of jeans, or your favorite coffee, or an hour to sit and read a novel, you deserve a treat. Whatever it is that will lift your spirits…do it, especially on hard days. You know the kind of days I mean…the day after a reaction, or the day after skin testing, or after a frustrating experience at a restaurant. Those kind of days can be really exhausting, and you may feel overwhelmed. That’s the time to pamper yourself, even if it’s just a little bit. Do something nice for yourself, you won’t regret it.
Wow this is amazing and incredible!!! They are also very useful and helpful. Thanks
Rev Dr Kathleen Raphael DD LPN
THANK YOU! For writing this. My second child was born with so many allergies it turned my world upside down and while I have gotten into a good groove with feeding our family it is a part of my mental exhaustion that I rarely acknowledge for myself.
It can really take its toll! I’m glad you found this post helpful!
Thanks for this very sweet and refreshing post — and it isn’t a dessert or a beverage! Hugs and gratitude to you and all the other “allergy moms” here! Let’s all go drink a big glass of water before the day gets any farther along…
You’re welcome! :)
so true! As moms and caregivers we are usually last on our own list- or don’t even make the list!
This is exactly what I needed today! I completely spaced last night and made brown rice for dinner that we’ve had for months in a cannister and my baby reacted to it (did some research-shared lines with dairy). SO frustrating. I sometimes feel like I’m alone in all of the stress that comes with the triple checking and researching and worrying. Self care is always on my back burner, it’s hard but important to remember you can’t pour from an empty cup! Thank you for what you do!
Thank-you Kelly for this article on taking care of yourself.
I really needed to read that. I have 3 kids , two I feel them with severe , multiple food allergies and asthma. It’s so stressful, I rarely take care of myself but I agree, if I feel better, I am a better mom!
I hope you & your family have a blessed holiday!
It is stressful, Dawn! I’m so glad you found this helpful. Have a wonderful Christmas! :)
Thank you! I know that I certainly needed that! Now I need to actually do what you said. ;) That would start with signing off and getting to bed. :)
Sarah recommended I check out your website and I’m super glad I did!