Sometimes You’ve Gotta Rest…

We had a fun filled week last week as my SIL and her family came to visit before they move to TZ in August! Dinosaur museums, walking trails, pizza and ice cream making, and staying up after the kids went to sleep to visit, among other things, filled our week. They are such a wonderful blessing to us and I’m thankful for the time we got with them. Even though we were going a lot, we made sure to build in down time each day, and thankfully I was able to avoid any major flares.

In my head, I had grand plans of blog posts to get going, projects to start around the house, and business tasks to work on. However, I awoke Tuesday morning to a very sick and sad little one. It was tempting to be a little frustrated because I felt okay, but was not able to work on anything because A wants lots of extra nursing and constant holding. If I’m not flaring, I feel like I need to be as productive as possible. But this is absolutely false. There may be dishes everywhere and my bedroom is overtaken with laundry, but I am doing the task I need to right now, sitting and watching a movie (and both of us taking a short nap earlier because she shared the snots with me. I thought moms weren’t supposed to get sick?!).

Sometimes, it’s a flare that wrecks our plans. Sometimes, our tiny humans need us. And sometimes, we just need to rest for us. And that’s okay, friends. The laundry doesn’t have any pressing engagements and I’m pretty sure the dishes can pencil you in later ;).

Anyone else having to slow down this week?

Navigating Potlucks/Social Events with Dietary Restrictions

Potlucks, fellowship meals, dinners, parties, showers, game/movie nights… Until I had food allergies and other dietary restrictions to help manage chronic pain, I never realized how much social events always seem revolve around one thing in particular, FOOD!

I know at least for me, it’s very tempting and a lot simpler to just avoid events like that because of the hassle of figuring it out. But (as J likes to point out to me, trying to be all reasonable and well balanced, psh…)! We need to have some social interaction and a sense of normalcy to survive and thrive with chronic pain, even if we have to be a little unorthodox in how we do that.

Below are a few options and tips to consider to help you still partake in different social events:

  1. Pack your own food. I do this a LOT, even when going to fast food restaurants, so I know I’ll always have something on hand that I know I can eat.
  2. Look up the menu before to find something you can eat while selecting a restaurant to go to with friends. Most chain restaurants have their menus online and many have allergen menus you can look at.
  3. Eat prior to the event or leave snacks in the car. Can’t pack food without it being totally weird (like a wedding reception)? Simply eat before the event or bring snacks with you. Bringing snacks also gives you a good excuse to take a break from the noise and stimulation to step outside or into an empty room to eat and recharge for a moment.
  4. Prepare something you can eat to contribute to potluck. PRO TIP: Worried the one food you can eat will be all gone by the time you go through the line? Write on a card next to the dish that the food is X,Y,Z free and it will scare most people into leaving it alone, even if that dish doesn’t normally have those items in it ;p.

I can hear a lot of the arguments against these tips (I’m going to be too tired, that’s way too much work, people are going to think I’m a fruit loop – What if they ask me about it???, etc.) because I make these. While you do need to listen to what your body needs for rest, don’t allow yourself to just make excuses. Social involvement is so, so, SO important for mental and emotional health (yes, even for us introverts), and it’s something that we need to be intentional about to make it happen.

Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s awkward, but yes, it’s worth it.

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Is anyone else a member of the tupperware-toting club? Anything else to add to the list?