It is inevitable that you are going to have flare ups every now and again. Yes, they suck, but it’s part of what comes with this condition. Over time, I’ve learned that how you deal with them makes a huge difference in helping to cope and recover from them. These are just tips on how I deal with a flare up, I hope it can help others too 🙂
Go with it
In the past, whenever I’ve had a bad day with my IBS I’ve often question what’s caused the flare up, searching for reasons and explanations for it. This often frustrates me further because I don’t find an answer. I’ve learned now just to accept that this flare up is happening whether I like it or not and just to ride it out. For me acceptance is part of my healing process. Often when you try to push something away, it comes back and bites you in the bum twice as hard.
Don’t suffer in silence
I used to be so bad for trying to hide my condition, which in turn stressed me out more, meaning my symptoms got worse. If I’m not feeling great I would rather just say. A problem shared is a problem halved isn’t it? Most people are very understanding and want to make sure you’re ok. I also make my workplace aware of my condition. It relaxes me knowing that they are aware of my health and that they will support me if I’m not feeling too great.
When I have a flare up I don’t feel like eating at all, and I’m often anxious about eating as it may upset my stomach even more. I have achieved nothing other than unnecessary weight loss from cutting out food. I now make sure eat plain low FODMAP foods that I know I can tolerate. The body needs energy to recover!
Practice mindful meditation
This is a relatively new thing for me, but I’ve learnt how important it is to relax the mind and return to a happier less stressful place. As mentioned in my previous posts, I use the Headspace app. It’s so simple and easy to use, there are even short, on the go sessions for when you are feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s so important to me now to be able to switch off and learn to cope with my condition. I would definitely recommend you try it 🙂
In the past I was terrible for getting frustrated at lying on the sofa with a bad flare up. It’s so important to listen to your body! If you’re not feeling right then a little rest and relaxation can go a long way, perhaps your IBS is telling you that you need to take a little break. Having IBS can make you feel really crap at times, just resting can do you the world of good and help you recover from a flare up quicker. I try not to beat myself up anymore about having some rest…sometimes it’s nice to watch lots of Friends episodes on repeat!!
Let me know if you have any other ways of dealing with a flare up…