We’re in the heart of allergy season right now and more than 50 million Americans are suffering from them. They are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US and cost us more than $18 billion every year! Allergies are something I am very familiar with. I have a friend who spends half the year taking medicine to combat “seasonal” allergies. And yes, I also suffer from them myself. Or do I?
Your Words Have Power
Words are incredibly powerful. Using the right, or wrong, word can shape the way you think and act. That even includes how you’ll feel and act during allergy season. If you go around using words like suffering when referring to allergies, guess what, you’re going suffer. Does a person with asthma say they suffer it? Some might, I used too. But the ones that learn to live with it and make it a part of who they are, you’ll never hear them use that kind of language.
Instead, you’ll hear them say things like “I have asthma.” They say it in a way that is a matter of fact, no different than saying “I have brown eyes.” The language you use will shape how you react when the situation comes. So, when you’re talking about having allergies, remove suffering from your dictionary. This is one of the first steps for you to take on your journey to enjoying life despite allergies.
Your Actions Matter
What else can you do? Well, did you know that stress actually makes your allergies worse? It’s true! That means that doing things to destress like taking up yoga will help your allergy symptoms be less severe. You can also do breathing exercises, read a book, or do whatever it is that you like to do to de-stress. Though if a glass of wine is your usual destresser maybe skip it this time, alcohol makes allergies worse. Destressing is just one of the natural ways you can fight your allergies and I’ve got a whole other article that talks about that.
Your Boundaries Will Work
Finally, learn your boundaries and live within them. Just like someone with chronic pain won’t go out on a high pain day you should try to shape your day around the air quality index. On a day when the allergens are bad do things indoors. Save those days in the garden for when the air quality is at a level you can tolerate. But while you’re having an indoor day don’t just sit around. Be physically active, do yoga, go to a gym, or try out some free workout videos on youtube. If you can’t avoid going out wear a face mask with a charcoal filter, like the ones you see Japanese people wear.
Allergies are a chronic condition but so many people don’t treat them that way. Instead, they act like they have a cold. But with a different mindset, reducing stress, and learning to live within your boundaries you can enjoy life despite allergies. Maybe if more people took these things to heart they wouldn’t find themselves suffering anymore.
LaToyia, The Motivated Mom