Celebrations feel less like merry-making when you have a health-restricted diet.
Whatever you’re dealing with diabetes or peanut allergies, you end up in the same place:
At the buffet saying “no, thank you,” and “sorry, I can’t eat that,” while grazing on plates of cherry tomatoes and celery.
It can be nerve-wracking to monitor your diet all the time, fretting about offending your hosts, or worrying more about missing something and ending up in the ER.
So how can you better manage health-restricted diet anxiety?
- Be Smart.
Know the risks, the location of the nearest medical center, and necessary emergency procedures. Give a few people around you a bit of information too, in case you need help.
- Be Prepared.
Keep your medicine or a list of instruction with you in case of emergency, and let the host or food preparers know your concerns, if possible.
- Be Supported.
Communicate to a few key people your concerns. These people will know what to do in case of emergency, and also take the edge off any social pressure you feel.
- Be Ready.
Be prepared for mealtime. Planning may help reduce food anxiety, social anxiety, and any anxiety concerning any potential food sensitivity emergencies.
- Be Aware.
Practice mindfulness, or “the nonjudgmental awareness of the current moment.” How are you feeling? Awareness helps in the management of bodily symptoms and anxiety.
- Be in Control.
You are in charge of your thoughts, your actions, and what you put in your mouth. Own those factors and enjoy the party with those things under your control.
- Be Accepting.
You can only do so much. Validate your feelings, then move onto something more positive. Food you can eat and good friends are a great start.
- Be Realistic.
Catastrophizing every bite makes every meal outside your home a miserable experience. Ask yourself, “is my fear realistic? What can I do to make sure I’m safe?”
- Be Calm.
Don’t let anxiety get the best of you. Breathe, stretch, talk to someone. Put the “what ifs” aside and firmly root yourself in the present.
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