Prioritizing Self-Care in a Busy Food Allergy World

Prioritizing Self-Care in a Busy Food Allergy World

by Kristin Osborne

The month of May is special because it honors moms across the country on Mother’s Day. It is even more special to me because I'm “Mom” to three boys with multiple life-threatening food allergies. In our world, daily life can be stressful and driven with anxiety. Some mornings, getting the kids to school on time is stressful. Other mornings, receiving a phone call from the school nurse informing me that my son is having an anaphylactic reaction is the cause of my anxiety.

We nurture our children with food allergies by empowering them to self-advocate, and we comfort them when living with food allergies is a scary reality. However, do we nurture ourselves? 

This Mother's Day, consider gifting yourself prioritized self-care. Self-care is a conscious and empowering decision to engage in activities required to achieve and maintain your optimal physical and/or mental health. We can best care for our children when we also care for ourselves. 


The first step to prioritizing your needs is to evaluate your current state. Are you overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed?  What helps you maintain balance and bring serenity to your mind, body, and soul?

These activities should be non-negotiable and added into your everyday life. 


1.  Take 15: Create a standing appointment with YOURSELF. I'm sure this sounds crazy, but block off fifteen minutes or more to take a bubble bath, paint, watch your favorite show, or read a book. Make it a point to do something for yourself EVERY DAY. 

2. Learn Something New: Listen to an audio book or podcast about a subject you've always wanted learn. Use YouTube and Google to inspire your inner genius. 

3. Health: Putting your health first is EXTREMELY important. This can mean organizing your vitamins in a weekly container so you don't forget to take them or adding a reminder to your phone or calendar to schedule annual appointments. 

4. Just Dance: Taking a dance "brain break" with your kids for five minutes will burn calories and invigorate your soul. No one is watching – well, except for your kids – so dance your heart out!

5. Walk it Out: Exercise while your kids are at soccer practice or after dinner. It doesn't matter when or how long. The key is to move. 

6. Food: Pack healthy snacks in your purse or work bag to curb hunger when on the go. You'll thank yourself later. 

7. Bring the Kids: Purchasing food is a family affair in our home. I enjoy cooking and visiting our local farmers market. I bring the kids along and they pick a new food they have never tried. (We only purchase fruit or veggies or food with a packaging label.)  The kids enjoy experimenting with new foods and I enjoy the market.

8. Disconnect: As food allergy parents, we research, investigate, and inquire about new foods and information.  Often, the information can be overwhelming. It's okay to disconnect occasionally to regroup.  

9. Sleep: Getting adequate sleep is essential to your well-being. Try adding a 20-minute power nap to your daily routine to recharge. 

10. Be Present: We live in a “GO, GO, GO” world. Take a minute each day to be present in the moment. Allow yourself to fully engage in the “NOW”. 

Self-care may be different for each person. What may work for someone else may not work for you. Do what inspires YOU! Prioritize your needs so you can prioritize others and be a healthier, happier parent. 

How will you implement self-care in your daily life?

Kristin Osborne is the owner of Prioritized Style, a Web site integrating self-care practices while adding a little sweet and savory flavor to a busy lifestyle. She is also the founder of Virginia Food Allergy Advocates, which is an advocacy based food allergy and anaphylaxis support group in southeastern Virginia.  

Kristin is a 2016 graduate of the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Partners in Policy Making Program. She lives with her husband and three sons who are allergic to wheat, dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, and fish.

For more information, visit Kristin’s Web site and follower her on Twitter and Instagram.