5 Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with IBS

With the holiday season upon us, it is important to prepare for stress free ways to enjoy the festivities.  How can we plan ahead to better our holiday experience?  Here are some tips that have helped me throughout the years:

Planning ahead with IBS

Plan ahead, never wait for the last minute.

If you are hosting, need to prep a side dish/full meal or just need to attend an event, whatever you do don’t wait for the last minute to complete your tasks. There is a slew of tasks to do when you host of course—from cleaning up the house, to cooking, setting the table, buying all the food, creating the menu, making a playlist etc.

But even if you are just going to someone’s house, you need to get dressed, put make up on, bring a bottle of wine or side dish. 

Everything takes effort and when you have IBS, if you leave things last minute, this means stress - and stress triggers symptoms.

Make sure to plan with time. Layout out your outfit the day before. Cook your side dish as much ahead of time as you can. If you are hosting, set the table and clean/tidy your home days before and lay out your tasks with appropriate time so you aren’t running around the day of. 

As a matter of fact, my rule of thumb is to do the least amount of tasks the day of the event. Prep as much as you can beforehand. This will keep your stress levels low and keep those IBS symptoms at bay.

Have "safe" foods available

Eat safe foods at parties and bring a side dish you can eat

In addition to the planning, make sure you are smart with what you are eating during this holiday season. Stay away from trigger foods and don’t try any new foods. Nothing worse than getting into a flare and then not being able to enjoy holiday events.

I also think it is very smart, to show up to parties with a side dish you know you can eat. Whether bought, or homemade, you know you can have it and it can be a "for sure" item you can count on to eat.

Dressing for IBS

Lay out outfits in advance.

Sometimes just getting dressed to go to a holiday party can be stressful, so don’t leave figuring out your outfit for the day of. With time, come up with your outfit a day or two beforehand, so that there is no stress when it comes to getting dressed to go.

Avoid having to rush

Buy gifts with time.

Gift giving is part of the holiday season and can be a fun experience if you plan ahead.  Take advantage of the holiday sales. Do most of your shopping online so you don’t have to run around in stores. Order with appropriate timing so nothing is last minute.

IBS routine

Stick to a healthy routine.

The holiday season can somehow get us out of whack when it comes to our daily routines.  Vacations, staying out late, eating things we normally don’t eat, drinking alcohol, sleeping in a little late. 

Try your best to honor your daily routines the best you can. If you have a day where you are completely out of your routine, try your best to get back to your normal schedule the following day. The quicker you make the switch back to normalcy the better. 

I find that when I get out of control with diet and sleep, IBS can creep its way back in.

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Enjoy the holidays

Overall, just make sure you enjoy the holidays. Do the best you can to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for success. If you find yourself straying from you daily routines and eating habits, it’s okay. We have to enjoy life a little.

But I do recommend jumping back into normalcy as quickly as possible so that IBS symptoms can be kept at bay. Happy holidays to you! Enjoy these joyous days and cheers to keeping symptoms at a minimum!

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