I LOVE CHRISTMAS!
Christmas is a time for celebrating, receiving and giving of gifts, love and food
Lots and lots of food!
With new foods, parties and sharing meals with family and friends can come with issues for food allergy sufferers.
You see all the shops advertising their holiday specials just for the season, christmas spicey this and fruity warming that
Sounds good right?
Sounds anxiety riddled to me!
Christmas is a time when your social meter goes out the roof and your dining out more often and celebrating the season of joy.
But for those with food allergies this season can be new foods not tried before, eating at family and friends who may not be as allergie conscious as you are and the dreaded thought of the odd one out at the table feeling.
But it shouldn’t be, we should be able to eat with everyone else and feel included, be able to socialize and not have anxiety about doing so.
What’s that feeling?
Anxiety is a mental health condition contains both physical and mental unrest which can lead a person to feel worried, scared and at times very alone.
Symptoms of anxiety can include:
Anxiety can show itself in many forms and is different for each suffer. However, that feeling of uncertainty and the thought of “what if” is there for almost everyone I have supported and spoken to.
Now imagine if those feeling were associated with food. The feeling of dread and fear that you are going to be poisoned by a meal and that the rest of your christmas may be spend in discomfort and pain. Not a fun feeling.
But these fears and worries can be reduced and you can experience christmas in its full glory.
One of the main things you can do to help reduce your anxiety is speak to someone.
Issues with your mental health is nothing to be ashamed of,
1 in 4 people in the UK have suffered with a mental health issue in their lives
Talk to me….
The greatest gift we have is communication.
Speak to the waiter serving you, ask to speak to the chefs, speak to your travel representative or contact the hotel you are staying at before you go so you can sort your food requirements out.
Speak to your family and friends, they are probably as anxious as you are thinking about cooking for you as you are to eat their food. It isn’t rude to direct someone to a good source of food you are safe to have, trust me they prefer to know what you can have than guessing.
Guessing = accidents
Speaking to people about your concerns can often help reduce those anxious thoughts about what’s in a particular meal or ingredient.
Knowledge is power, information is power
The more information you have about a food item you have anxieties about you can then make an informed choice whether its suitable for you or not.
Do your research, don’t just rely on what people say to you.
Yes speaking to people can massively help to reduce anxious thoughts about food but research can back up those words.
I am terrible for whapping my phone out almost anywhere. It might seem rude to others if you are at a table in a restaurant to get out your phone and searching for information but do it if it helps and don’t let others opinions worry you.
I need to make sure I am safe.
And you do too.
There are sites out there that a filled with good knowledge but be aware there are also sites out there that are not. Be mindful of where you are seeking your information from, if you can go direct to the source you require do so, if you can’t come to sites which are by respected people in their field and supported but years of knowledge and experience.
Traditional christmas dinners with all the trimmings means all the gluten bits too.
You’ll find that in most meals it’s the little extra’s that hide the naughty ingredients so be aware. This time of year food is fluffed up with fancy extras that are not normally an issue but they are now.
Take care of yourself and others….
The most import thing at this time of the year and always is to look after yourself and others. Your mental wellbeing is important and we should be supporting each other through any issues, worries or concerns.
Speak to each other, research for support and guidance and ask for help if you need to.
Help is here if you want, need or require it
Samaritans– Call-116 123
MIND– 0300 123 3393
SANE– Provide a text service, call back and more
Anxiety UK– 03444 775 774
NHS website– For lots more information
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