As one who manages severe life threatening food allergies every day (and asthma, allergies and eczema), sometimes, on certain days, it can seems like I have to manage them every minute. I don’t actually but it can certainly feel like that; “No, I can’t eat that,” “No I can’t join you there,” No, that won’t work.” Nos, buts and howevers.
In this last decade of my adulthood, after a lifetime of Nos, I started to ask for more Yeses; asked for them, sought them out, even found them within a however. The more that I sought them out, the more they showed up, in abundance. And the more I found them, the more I challenged my food allergy counseling clients to seek them out as well.
And so I now I ask you: where are your places of ease, rest, joy and play?
This recent New York Times article underscores that human children learn by creating play. “Playing for All Kinds of Possibilities”: "Studies suggest that free, self-directed play in safe environments enhances resilience, creativity, flexibility, social understanding, emotional and cognitive control, and resistance to stress, depression and anxiety.
This last year, I’ve upped my adult "play" quotient by throwing myself into improvisational comedy and musical improv. (Here’s a blog post about doing improv and here is a fun comedy video I made with musical improv maven and comedian, Rebecca Vigil.) In a few weeks, my improv team will perform somewhere in NYC; it'll be invigorating, playful and have nothing to do with the part of my brain that manages food allergies. Don’t worry, my teammates are all well aware of my food allergy needs. But see, see! Even that is part of my point: when it can feel like every, every moment is managing a life with a chronic disease, everyone needs a break, a time for the brain to play in safe[r] space.
I’ve created several safe spaces in my life to play, learn, grow and relax.
What's an activity that stretches you/your family emotionally or physically outside of food allergies and into a playful, fun, free zone?
Have no idea where to even start? Need ideas, help, assistance or support finding that safe place to play while managing food allergy risk? Please contact me about food allergy counseling today.