Favorite Distractions that Get My Mind Off an IBS Flare
IBS is hard. If you focus on it too much it can consume you, which is why it is so important to have distractions or hobbies to keep you busy. Of course, if you are in a severe flare you can’t do much, at least in my case; because I am either in bed or in the washroom. But on the days that you are able to function, it is important to stay busy and occupied so that you can sort of forget about symptoms. It’s crucial to find ways to escape sometimes.
As for me, I like to do a variety of things that put me at ease. I find that when I am invested in an activity I love, symptoms tend to stay at bay. So here are some things I do to distract myself from IBS:
Light, low-impact exercise is my favorite and of course something I can do in the comfort of my own home. I find, that even if I am experiencing light IBS symptoms like urgency, doing a yoga class actually calms symptoms. I may have to press pause on the video to use the restroom in the middle of class, which of course is the beauty of at-home workouts, but in the end, I always feel better physically and symptoms tend to subside by the time class is over.
I highly suggest trying yoga. I’m sure you have been bombarded by others saying that yoga will heal your IBS. No, I’m not saying that. But I will say, it helps me relax and feel great about my body. My core becomes engaged, I stand taller and my legs feel grounded. It’s a good low-impact workout and I highly recommend it.
I love music. I am usually always playing music when I am home. It really can turn into a therapeutic experience. If I am doing chores at home, music is always blasting. It makes the time pass by. And if I am working, I always listen to classical music or jazz to help me stay focused.
Most importantly, though, when I am feeling sick I turn to music. If I am in a severe flare and stuck in bed, I turn on some spa or meditative music. Boy does it really help get your mind off the pain and it calms you down to the point that you even fall asleep at times. Give it a try, next time you are miserable in bed. It’s a great tool to use.
Okay, you might think this is a bit of a stretch, but I truly love to color. In my opinion, it makes anxiety melt away. You sort of turn into a little kid while coloring, and I love that. In the moment, all you care about is staying in the lines and what color should go where. I always color if I have free time and I’m bored. It’s a great way to pass the time and to feel creative.
There a tons of adult coloring books on Amazon. Some of them are hilarious! And others you can pick to be inspiring or challenging.
Of course, I couldn't not include good old Netflix. Sometimes, the absolute best way to be distracted from IBS symptoms is to watch an amazing show or movie. I particularly love watching old 90s movies like Home Alone because it reminds me of my childhood and let’s face it, those movies just never disappoint.
How about you? What do you do to distract yourself from IBS symptoms? Share below, we love to hear from you.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?