Not too long ago, I did a post on tips for adjusting to your new allergy routine... There's definitely a huge emotional side to developing all these allergies, so it's led me to this post :-)
In 2010, when all of my allergies exploded... I was still pretty upbeat and positive - in the very beginning, anyways. At that point in my life, the world I knew went like this: you get sick or see something weird on your skin, you go to the doctor and they fix it - end of story, pretty much. Three years later, I'm all too aware of the fact that my old way of thinking is faaaar beyond the truth. When I was told that my medical issue was allergies and that I had a LOT of them, I was far from thrilled. Then, as I went about my life, trying to not touch any metal objects, getting rid of all of my hair products and wardrobe and trying to replace everything with items that I actually liked and that actually made me look GOOD.... my spirit dwindled even further.
Every day had turned into a metaphorical battlefield - I was constantly avoiding SOMEthing... I couldn't touch doorknobs anymore, so there were many times where I found myself standing in front of a closed door going "fuck!". (Sorry - I had to drop the f-bomb because that's how it felt.) It was insanely frustrating. And trying to replace my entire wardrobe with 100% cotton items? Mind-blowingly aggravating. And let's not even talk about everything I had to give up diet-wise. Not even my HAIR was able to look the same anymore because of the chemicals I'm allergic to. I had to give up a lot... And it was painfully aggravating, frustrating, and depressing at times.
Here are my tips for staying positive. They've helped me and I hope they can help you too:
- Think of this as a challenge that you KNOW you can figure out
- Be open to new ideas. You have to because life is a'changing!
- Find some great motivational quotes and stick one on your mirror or wherever you get ready in the morning and if you have a cubicle or office at work, stick a little one in there as well
- Whether you've had to give up food, clothing or other items.... try to think of some people who have naturally had to live without those things and see how they cope. For example, I'm allergic to a lot of the chemicals in food and certain meats, so I look for vegetarian recipes. They're usually VERY wholesome.
- Spend time with your REAL friends and/or your family
- Start a journal. Or a blog! ;-) It's good to get those feelings OUT.
- Remember that you WILL get the hang of this. It takes time. You'll figure out the solutions that are best for you eventually.
- Find a new hobby - a new interest can really boost your spirits
- Seek out message boards and blogs online to find other people dealing with your same issues. It feels great to have other "allergy friends" out there who "get it".
- Take this as an opportunity to reinvent yourself and embrace it.
- Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Obviously, put enough pressure on yourself to stay healthy and allergen free, but realize you can only do so much. Don't strive for perfection.
- Get plenty of sleep
- If you feel yourself thinking negatively, be aware of it and make the effort to change your mood. The more often you do it, the better you will get at it. I'm not saying you can banish all of the bad thoughts, but it will help you manage them.
- Get some sun / take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is good for your mood!
- Turn lemons into lemonade.... For example, there's an absolute need for children's books which help explain allergies, eczema, and other conditions to children. Ever wanted to publish a children's book? Now's the time! You have insight into your condition that other people don't have. It can actually be valuable.
- Are you really social? Start or attend a support group! Definitely utilize the internet for this.
- Laugh. Laugh as much as you can - watch funny movies, hang out with light-hearted friends, whatever it takes. It's been proven that laughter lifts the spirits and even reduces stress.