Editor’s Note: This article was first published on April 13, 2020. Further developments in what we know about the coronavirus are continuously emerging. Learn more in Self-Care in Uncertain Times.
Many of us who work full-time with IBS, and often dream of a day that we don’t have to go into work or run around the community worrying about where the bathrooms are or whether our boss is going to mad at us for taking too many potty breaks. I was given the option to start working from home 2 months before we were all quarantined due to this awful Coronavirus issue. That said, I was ready to go back to work after 2 months, and now, I can’t. Stuck in quarantine. I think I’m going to lose it. ;-)
Oh, I’m sure that many of the stay-at-home work folks here on IrritableBowelSyndrome.net could have told me that it was not all that it was cracked up to be. Yes, it’s great not having anyone looking over your shoulder or worrying about calling out of work because of a flare-up, but, it’s when you are not feeling so bad that isolation becomes very, very difficult. I think for a really structured person who does not require a lot of human contact, this setup might work very well. I am not one of those people. It took some time for me to figure out, but NOW I’M STUCK. And I don’t like it.
Trying to be positive
I don’t mean to whine. I know that most of you are stuck, too. And being stuck at home isn’t the half of it. I won’t go into the details about why this situation sucks. You all know. So, what am I doing about it? I realized something must be done when I found myself pacing the floor...a lot. Then I realized that if I actually organized myself and kept myself going, I had so much I could do. Maybe stuff I would never have time to do again. Between my writing and phone work, I could exercise, write, clean the house (this is a novelty – lol!), read, work on projects that I’ve long since forgotten. There are lots and lots of things.
Making the best of this quarantine
So, I’m trying a glass-half-full perspective. I make sure to talk with my family and friends on the phone or Facebook at least once a day. I leave the house to ride my bike or hike at least 4 times a week. I’m making the best of it. I also get the daily news and keep myself educated about the times we are living in, but that's it. Meaning, I’m not spending the whole day online, learning every nuance of people’s worries. This is not good for my mental health. Keep calm and carry on, ya know?
Now, back to the good stuff. I do have IBS and other illness issues and this has given me a much-needed rest and the ability to make my own choices day today. It won’t always be like this, although it may not seem like it right now. Mindfulness is my friend. Moment by moment, day by day. We will all get through this.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?