How To Accommodate Morning IBS
Before IBS hit, I used to be a morning person. There was nothing better than getting up early and getting a head-start on the day, especially since it meant being done earlier.
But oh boy, does my IBS hate mornings. And because of that, I’ve come to hate them, too.
If there was a way to simply sleep in every day and never have to deal with appointments in the early hours, I probably would. But there isn’t. The only thing there is to do is find ways to cope.
Focus on productivity rather than working hours
If you’re self-employed or have flexible working hours, I suggest simply starting your workday a bit later. Forget about all those super-productive people telling you to wake up at 5 am. This just doesn’t work for morning IBS!
If like me, you’re not a big fan of working late, there are ways to make fewer working hours more productive. First, you need to remove any distractions. Then, organize your to-do list by priorities and groups of similar tasks. Finally, avoid switching between different tasks, like answering emails while working on something else.
By implementing these simple steps, you’ll probably notice that you’re able to accomplish more work in less time. And this means that you can take your early mornings off to cure your IBS!
Move appointments to your lunch break
When I still worked a corporate job, I always faced the same problem when it came to appointments: doctors, the bank, and other establishments closed earlier than I was able to leave work. Thus, if I wanted to make an appointment, I had to do it in the morning.
I’m sure you can imagine the struggle. Going to work was bad enough, but now I had to get up even earlier for an appointment. Needless to say, I had to take Imodium every single time.
It might seem like a no-brainer, but try using your lunch break for things like that instead. Everything is still open, you’re already up and at work, and you can simply pack a sandwich or something similar to eat on the go.
Make the right sleeping arrangements
My morning IBS gives me so much anxiety when I have to sleep somewhere else, or when people are sleeping over at my house. Basically, whenever I don’t have a private bathroom all to myself in the mornings.
If you struggle with that too, here are a few suggestions:
Opt for your own hotel room
Whenever you have to stay somewhere overnight, opt for a hotel room to give you enough privacy. I know that it’s more expensive than sleeping on someone’s couch, but if it’s the only way to not be an anxious mess, it’s worth it.
Consider choosing an apartment or home with a private bathroom
If your bedroom at home doesn’t come with a private bathroom, make sure any guest rooms are far away. When we moved into our current house, we had two extra rooms: one right next to our bedroom, and one in the basement. We decided to make the first one in our guest room. However, I’ve come to notice that I’m super uncomfortable with using the bathroom whenever we have guests! I’d love to have a few more doors between the guest room and the bathroom. The basement room would have been a far better option, had we taken the time to make it really nice.
Stand up for yourself
Above all: stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone coax you into a situation that you’ll end up regretting later!
Shift your days to an earlier time
The hardest, but maybe the most effective way to accommodate morning IBS is to shift your entire day by an hour or two. And by this, I mean going to bed earlier and getting your body used to waking up earlier.
I did this on our last vacation in the summer, when we had to spend a night at the airport and I was so tired the next day that I had no trouble falling asleep at 9 pm.
However, if you’re not traveling, this might be somewhat of a lengthy process. Just try going to bed a couple of minutes earlier every day, and waking up a bit earlier as well.
Over time, your body (and IBS) should get used to the fact that mornings now start at 6 am rather than 7:30 am, for example. It won’t actually help your flare-ups in the morning, but it might buy you the extra time you need to wait them out at home and not have to leave the house feeling dreadful. And isn’t that what we all want, to not be anxious about a possible flare-up outside of the house?
Do you read nutrition labels on the food you buy?