Best Distractions On Flare Days
All flare days are not created equally, at least not for me. They can range from slightly annoying to, “I do believe I’m going to die today.” :-) We all have to find a way to hang on during these days. What we are able to do for our own self-care does depend on the severity of the flare. I have an entire ‘toolbox’ full of things I can do to keep my mind off the discomfort and help the day or days pass by in a less painful manner. I’m sure many of these look a lot like yours. If you don’t have a bag of tricks to help you survive the hell days, you really should consider the things that might help you feel a little better.
Mild flare day distractions
On my ‘mild flare’ days, the options are many. I can take short walks, even several short walks in between the dramatic hours. When I say ‘short’, I truly mean short. Down to the end of the street, around my apartment complex, out to my car to look for a shirt or something. It doesn't need to be a 5K speed walk. I can do some light yoga or stretch. I also like to cook, believe it or not. Even though I might not be able to eat the food that day, I know I have done something that will save me some work later in the week. I know a lot of you will say that you can’t stand the smells. I generally don’t have that much problem with that type of thing, but I understand. I think if I’m feeling that way, I just prep the raw foods.
Medium flare day distractions
You’ll notice that I didn’t say anything about reading or music. I save reading, music, playing the guitar or piano, to help me keep my mind off of things on ‘medium’ days. I am in more discomfort and I need a greater mental distraction. The difference between the ‘medium’ day and ‘bad’ day is that I am still relatively functional on the medium days. I can still concentrate enough to do these things that help me to pass time and relax.
Severe flare day distractions
OK...so what to do on the really bad days? This may not be everyone’s answer, but I really have no problem completely ‘giving up’ and allowing myself to heal. This is the rest day, the TV day, the movie day. It's also really ok to pamper yourself on these days. Cool clothes on your head, back, feet, and on. Breathing exercises or 'resting meditation.' Wash several times if you can. It will help you feel as though you’ve reset the clock on the awful flare up because you feel clean and fresh once again...even for a little while.
What are your distractions?
I am always very interested to see the variety of ways people manage these very difficult flare days. What helps you get through? I don't think it really matters as long as the tactic is healthy, not overly taxing, and is something that is particularly good for YOU.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?