COVID-19 And IBS
It’s no secret these are weird times. Everyone, in a way, is playing things by ear and no one has a clue as to what new developments will come for tomorrow or even in the next few hours. This of course can onset much anxiety which typically is a hard trigger for those of us with IBS.
I have found throughout this time that the key to keeping symptoms in check is to keep stress levels low and to truly guard your sense of peace and wellness. What I mean by that, is to be aware of what you are listening to, watching, and talking about. If you are engulfed in the current events of this time 24/7, chances are you are going to see your symptoms flare up, because finding good uplifting news these days is pretty rare.
So how do you keep your symptoms in check during this pandemic? Here are some tips I’d like to share:
Limit social media
Lately, social media, no matter which platform, seems to be filled with a lot of tension. People are scared, angry, and depressed and all that energy is being purged onto our personal screens. I think it is great to connect and socialize with one another over these platforms, however too much can mean that energy has an effect on you and your health.
I suggest scrolling for only a certain amount of time during the day. Don’t overwhelm your mind with too much negativity, it will make an impact on your symptoms. So, designate a certain amount of time that works for you throughout the day. For me, it’s no more than an hour per day.
Limit watching the news
The same goes for watching the news. If you wake up to the news, eat with the news on, and fall asleep with the news on, chances are you will be filled up with some major anxiety and stress. Probably some fear too. And all these emotions are triggers for IBS. You truly need to keep this intake in check.
So I apply the same rules as I did with social media. It is, of course, important to stay informed so I only watch the news for no more than one hour in a day. I actually prefer reading articles online rather than listening to/watching the news. I find that watching is more stressful than quietly reading an article on my own time.
Overall, definitely stay informed but don’t over-do it. Set a boundary for the amount of time that works for you.
Create a routine
For the majority of us, we are either sadly unemployed due to the pandemic, or working from home. Regardless, our routines have changed drastically. So it is majorly important to create a new one and to get your body into the groove of its new normal.
So, create a routine for you that you stick to. Try to eat at the same time each day and make sure you insert a moment where you can exercise and get some fresh air outside. Routine is good for the body and helps keep anxiety levels low.
Speaking of fresh air, make sure you get outside for at least 10-15 minutes each day. Whether that means sitting on your porch, hanging out in your backyard, or taking a walk around your neighborhood. Make sure you are getting fresh air each day, as it helps to keep depression at bay and of course the sunshine will provide you with some much needed Vitamin D. Being cooped up 24/7 is never good for the health, so get out in nature for a bit.
Try and use this time to get into good eating habits. For me, food is a huge trigger for my IBS. I have been pretty good at making the right choices while I have been quarantined. No one is perfect, but the better you eat the better you will feel and have fewer symptoms.
What else are you doing to help keep your IBS in check during these times? Share below, we love to hear from you!
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?