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Gina Clowes: Parenting Coach

Allergy Moms: Let’s Resolve to Stress Less and Schedule in Real Life

Work less. I speak to allergy moms every week about how exhausted they are. It’s as if they think if they push themselves just a little bit more, they’ll get it all done and be able to relax. Newsflash ladies: You will never get it all done!

So give yourself a break. Even a 15-minute break can increase productivity. If the weather is nice, I might take a “time out” on my patio, where nature helps me get back on track. When I feel tired or too grumpy, I’ll head to bed with a cup of tea and my Oprah magazine.

Another thing you can do is to “better” your most boring tasks. My friend Jennifer orders a fancy latte at Starbucks, where she writes out her grocery list and cuts the coupons she needs before heading to the grocery store. Now she looks forward to it.

Listening to your favorite music while cooking or doing laundry is a great way to “better” those chores – and 15 minutes of upbeat music lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone that we have to thank for our jelly bellies. So crank up those tunes.

Enjoy more. Find the time to catch up with friends over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. Don’t forget to take care of your body’s needs too – sleep more, rest more, exercise more and schedule in some enjoyment. What did you used to love to do? Perhaps it’s time to dust off the old easel, guitar or dancing shoes. Work before play? Forget about it.

Make sure your priorities in the year ahead include play and fun. One thing I’m certain of: you’ll be so glad you did.

Allergic Living magazine columnist Gina Clowes is a certified master life coach specializing in the needs of parents of children with food allergies. She is the founder of the online support group Allergymoms.com, helping thousands worldwide.

Allergic Living acknowledges the assistance of the OMDC Magazine Fund, an initative of the Ontario Media Development Cooperation.