IBS and New Year's Resolutions
In Australia, New Year’s Day coincides with the summer holidays when another school year is over and most people get some time off from workto spend with family and friends. Many people pack up the car and head to the beach for some relaxation, fun and time to just sit back and reflect on the year that was. It can also be a time to think about what the next year may bring.
I know that many people shun New Year’s resolutions because they just don’t work, or they are too hard to stick to or that they believe that we shouldn’t wait until one particular day of the year to make a change, we should do it every day! I do make New Year's resolutions because I enjoy the process of taking stock and thinking about where I am and where I would like to be.
IBS can make you feel so out of control. Triggers for symptoms can change all the time. You can never be quite sure what the day will bring. It can be frustrating and disheartening to think that you are finally getting better, only to have a bad day and wonder what on earth went wrong.
However, there is one thing that we do have control over and that is how we plan to investigate and manage our IBS. Each year I generally have a vague idea in my head about what the next steps are in figuring out how to ease and hopefully eradicate my symptoms. It may look a little something like this: Step 1 – see a new doctor for a second opinion. Step 2 – find a natural health practitioner that can suggest natural alternatives to medication. Step 3 – start the Low FODMAP diet. Step 4 – increase my daily water intake, and so on.
I have found that keeping a mental list of the next steps helps me to feel more in control. Instead of floundering and sobbing “why me!”, it gives me purpose and drive to figure this all out. It also helps me realise that managing IBS is an ongoing process that requires trial and error and that just because one thing didn’t work, it doesn’t mean that the next thing won’t work. There are so many different treatments for IBS that it can take time to figure out the right combination and we should never give up hope that things will improve.
If you are feeling lost and overwhelmed with IBS, and if there is one IBS New Year’s resolution that has worked really well for me that may work well for you, it is to create a list of the steps you will take in the new year to tackle IBS. That's all you need to do. Resolve to create a list of steps to take to investigate and figure out how to improve IBS in the new year. Then of course resolve to get started on this list!
Even though the steps may change throughout the year, it can guide you in the right direction. It can be helpful to check out all the different treatment options available and read the comments from the Facebook community and create a plan from these ideas. Because even if we can improve things just a little bit, it will be a pretty awesome year!
Happy new year to you all and I hope that you all see an improvement in your IBS symptoms in the new year!
Do you have a good understanding of what triggers your flares?