If you've ever experienced an allergic reaction, or witnessed your child experiencing one, then you're likely familiar with how it can feel afterwards - once the reaction is over. These emotions and thoughts may include feelings such as fear, worry, sadness, or even guilt, and explorations to try and understand what happened in order to prevent it from happening again.
For some, they may process through this phase quickly, while others take longer. Some may even find themselves becoming stuck along the way, unable to find their way back to navigating food allergies confidently.
New podcast episode on this topic!
In episode 9 of the Exploring Food Allergy Families podcast, I'm joined by fellow allergy-informed clinician, psychologist Fawn McNeil-Haber, PhD.
Together, we explore common feelings and thoughts that many may feel for days, weeks or even months after a reaction. We explore how those emotional reactions may lead to common behavioral changes and actions. Additionally, we share strategies to help people through this while on the journey back to confidently managing food allergies. [These tips may be helpful for parents and allergic kids, teens, and adults].
|5 Steps to Navigate Vulnerability & Food Allergies (Handout)|
|File Size:||76 kb|
So we've got this whole thing down pretty well by now, and our emotions aren't quite as scattered or intense, right? NOT NECESSARILY!
Here's the thing you really need to hear: All of your feelings are normal!
There are so many changes happening on a weekly (or daily) basis, that our feelings are likely going to go through phases. Unfortunately, there's no specific road map when it comes to feelings, especially those of grief.
The image above helps illustrate how our emotions might ebb and flow through this COVID pandemic. David Kessler, a grief expert who co-authored books with fellow grief expert Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, recently explored the feelings of grief we can expect to feel during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this Harvard Business Review interview, Kessler explored anticipatory grief and anxiety, and the importance of remembering that people don't move through the stages of grief in a linear manner.
What does that mean? Simply put, we can move through these stages, and suddenly find ourselves back at a previous stage. While making your way to acceptance is the ideal goal, that timeline will look different for everyone.
You may feel mentally stronger one day than the next. One week you may feel more motivated than you did the previous week. Recognize that this is normal and expected given the current circumstances, and be more patient and compassionate with yourself and others as we navigate these new, ever-changing waters.
Sure, it's important to gain an understanding of expected emotional responses during times of crisis. But do you know what else is important?
Just checking in with one another and genuinely asking: HOW ARE YOU DOING?
So here goes.....
- To those that are parents: How are your nerves holding up? Are you giving yourself some extra grace right now?
- To the medical/healthcare providers: I see you, and I thank you! I know you’re being strong, but how are you really feeling? It’s okay to not be a strong rock at all times. So what are you doing for yourself and your wellness right now? How are you coping?
- To those that are sheltering-in-place alone: How are you staying connected with others? Truly, what are you feeling these days? What do you need more of to comfort you right now?
- To my mental health and counseling peers: How are you holding up? And don’t feel you have to give a “therapized” answer! Have you found it hard holding others’ emotions while navigating the same situation/feelings? What are you doing for your own well-being right now?
- How Food Allergy Families Can Manage COVID-19 Stress (Allergic Living Podcast)
- Resources for Navigating Coronavirus Anxiety & Stress (FAC; updated weekly)
- COVID-19: Helping Your Children with School (Former educator, Sharon Wong)
- COVID-19 & Allergies Resource Hub (Allergic Living)
- CFAAR / SOAAR's COVID-19 Resources (Center for FA & Asthma Research)
- Coronavirus: What People w/Asthma Need to Know (AAFA)
- Eczema, Handwashing & COVID-19: Protecting Yourself & Your Skin (AAFA)
- Gratefulfoodie's COVID-19 Resource List
- Food Allergy Assistance Community: Tackling COVID-19 (FB support group)
on Facebook via
Tamara Hubbard, LCPC counseling page
4 Things Series
Allergy Anxiety Tools
Allergy Informed Therapists
Food Allergy Management
Food Allergy Worksheets
Updates Or News