Have you ever put someone’s else’s needs ahead of your own? We all do it - we’re human, after all. There is a name for this generous tendency. Economists refer to this situation, when one person's well-being cannot be improved without making another person's position worse, as the Pareto efficiency.
One example of the Pareto efficiency is the use of oxygen masks when air pressure drops during an airline flight. If you are traveling with a child, your first instinct is to put their mask on them before fitting your own. However, as every pre-flight safety lecture insists, you must put on your own mask first before helping others. Your first action needs to be to ensure your own health and safety. Sometimes you need to override that generous tendency and think of your own survival first - then you are free to help those around you.
When living with food allergies, you could be impacting your overall health if you put the needs of others first. It’s okay to give yourself permission to slow down and reflect before saying ‘yes’ to someone else to ensure your needs have been met first. Moreover, give yourself permission to say ‘no’ with kindness. It can be empowering to do so.
Do you find yourself taking care of everyone else before taking care of yourself? Do you try to take measures to think of yourself first before saying yes?
Here are some conversations about this topic from the community:
"Have put on so much weight due to not being able to exercise like I use to. Have really taken the bull by the horns and got myself a PT who is amazing he has given me a diet plan which fits perfectly with my intolerances."
"I have forced myself to have a day unwinding and relaxing after my drug allergy reaction and I’m literally doing all the things that I stopped making time to do. I even spent the afternoon in a park (with the pollen!) reading a good book."
"I am stressed in many ways, so now I figure I should just lay in bed before I go to sleep and purposely relax my body. How do you all relax? I'd love to hear from you."
Comment below or post on MyFoodAllergyTeam with ways you've had to put yourself first before helping others.