Take Care of Yourself Too, Mama

Take Care of Yourself Too, Mama

When the focus of your days and nights is keeping your child safe, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself too.  As a mom to a child with severe food allergies, it can even feel selfish to care for yourself.   Slipping away to the gym, for a relaxing walk outside, or a trip to the spa all can trigger intense feelings of guilt, even when safety measures are in place to protect your child.  How could I step away from my child when it’s my main job to protect him?

The stress levels of mothers of children with severe food allergies are sky high.  That goes with out saying.  FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) reports that “mothers of food-allergic children under age five have significantly higher blood-pressure measurements and report significantly greater levels of psychosocial stress than mothers whose preschool-aged children do not have food allergies.”  Combating this high stress level can be challenging.  So challenging, in fact, that I often find myself doing nothing about it.  But then how can I be my best if I don’t get the rest, nourishment and refreshment my body requires?

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)

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Sometimes, we do have to take a step back and find rest.  I admit, I find it difficult to discipline myself to self-care.  As a mother & wife, the demands seem never-ending.  As the mother of a child with severe food-allergies, in addition to the normal demands, I feel like I’m sinking in quick sand most days.  When I feel most overwhelmed and stressed, I feel that gentle nudge telling me to take a self-care moment.  That nudge gives me permission to seek rest and refreshment.  That nudge pulls me out of the quick sand and onto solid ground.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:26-30)

For me, it could be a time out for prayer, reading an encouraging devotion, a walk outside, or a quick trip to the gym (complete with a visit to the hydro massage bed).  For you, it could be something different.  Either way, rest is necessary.  Refreshment is necessary.  Take the time, Mama, to care for yourself.  You need it.  Your child needs you to have it, too.  Draw close to the One who provides rest and refreshment.

Stay safe…and get some rest.

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5 Things to do after a Conference

5 Things to do after a Conference

Conferences offer such a wealth of information for attendees but often leave your head spinning and feeling like you need to go in fifty different directions at once!  Here are a few tips to help you regain your focus after conference:

  1. Spend at least a day contemplating the ideas and things you were exposed to at conference.  It was A LOT to process so give yourself time to do that.  Motivational speakers at the conference may have you ready to take on the world, which is great, but you have to take time to digest the information and form a targeted plan to reach your desired outcomes.
  2. After contemplating the wealth of information thrown at you, review the list of sessions you attended and any notes you may have taken.  Review the paper or electronic handouts for information you may have missed in the live session.  Some things seemed important at the time but after contemplation, other important points may surface.  Write these down, as they will assist you in the next step.
  3. Make an action plan. Literally, make a list of actions you feel prompted to take based on the new information you have received.  Then start doing them!  One of the biggest mistakes conference attendees make is not acting on what they have learned.
  4. Review recommended resources from the conference. Buy and read the recommended books.  They may offer more insight into how to execute your action plan more effectively.
  5. Make connections. Some conferences publish a list of attendees with email addresses, social media handles, etc.  Don’t forget to follow up and nourish the connections you made at the conference.  Don’t let those connections die!  In today’s climate, connections are what will take you to the next level in any business or career you are pursuing.

You attended the conference to enrich your career.  Make an action plan and take advantage of what you learned!

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