Being Self-Employed: The Best Solution For IBS?
I’ve now been self-employed and working from home for almost 2 years. And I can honestly say that it was the best decision I ever made!
But while it does work really well for me and helps so much with my IBS, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. This article is for all the people out there who think about becoming self-employed to help with their IBS (like me, 3 years ago).
While I love being self-employed as a whole, it’s working from home that saves me from IBS-related anxiety every day. I just couldn’t deal with getting up early and leaving the house every morning. And I also couldn’t deal with having flare-ups at work all the time.
When you work from home, the worst thing that could happen is that you have an unproductive day because you run back and forth between the bed and the toilet. And to me, that is a million times easier to deal with than having anxiety attacks every morning, being constantly embarrassed about using the bathrooms at work, or scared to death that someone will notice that I’m actually too miserable to work.
However, working from home is not always great. For instance, you can get pretty lonely. That is unless you go somewhere to work, but that kind of defeats the “not being afraid of flare-ups” mentality, at least for me. I’m lucky enough to not live alone and also to be a total introvert who doesn’t mind socializing less often. But I know that that’s not the case for everyone.
So, while working from home is great for IBS, it might still not be the right decision for everybody.
To be or not to be self-employed?
I know multiple people who work from home without being self-employed. Although, I feel like most of them do need to go into work a couple of times a week. While that doesn’t give you as much freedom as working for yourself, I believe that it’s a great way to ease some of the issues related to working with IBS.
For one, it’s easier to justify coming into work late or staying at home when you have all your work equipment at your house. You could explain that you’re not feeling great and prefer to get stuff done from home today, instead of taking a sick leave every time you have a bad flare-up (which is what I had to do). And it also means that you don’t have to deal with early mornings 5 days a week.
Then, there’s the possibility of being self-employed and not working from home. Let’s face it: lots of professions require you to see clients!
In this case, being self-employed simply means that you create your own schedule. If I were to do that, my appointments would all start later in the day to accommodate my morning IBS.
What I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to be self-employed or work from home to accommodate your IBS. For me, it works because I love working on my own projects, being by myself a lot, and switching between different tasks that no corporate job could combine.
But being self-employed also means less security and no paid vacation. And working from home might be a terrible idea for an extrovert who loves having colleagues and friends at work.
In the end, it’s all about knowing what you want, and how you can combine that with your IBS. Just don’t settle for feeling miserable and anxious every single day.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?