I Think Winter Might Be Over!
If you are like me, your mental health may take a bit of a nosedive during the Winter months (if you have Winter where you live, if you don’t, you can probably skip this article ;-)). As soon as I see those grey skies looming over November, I know I’m in for a long couple of months. When we are not at our best mentally, there is a tendency to lose energy and focus. When we lose our strongest personality traits due to depression or simply a poor mood, we lose our ability to manage our illness and then we are left with a blue mood and bad IBS symptoms. Well, happy to say, I believe Spring is here and without sounding too cheezy; I believe in new beginnings.
Winter can do a couple of things that are particular to IBS sufferers. Winter requires comfort food, does it not? Hot chocolate, New England Clam Chowder, Biscuits and Butter…sing along, ‘These are a few of my favorite things!’. I digress. I’m no doctor or scientist, but I believe there may be some hibernation factor at play during these long, cold Winter days. We want to feel warm, comforted and safe. Unfortunately, most of us were brought up to do that by eating fatty foods, staying indoors for extended periods of time and watching TV or movies during our time off. That means not much exercise, bad diet and a stagnant brain. No wonder we don’t feel so good when the first Spring crocus peaks it’s tiny head from the Earth. No shame people, no shame. The only thing we can do is let the sunlight rejuvenate us and provide us with a chance to get back on track. My advice to you is to start slow and try not reinvent the wheel.
When I say to start slow, I’m generally concerned with too much, too fast. When we are on track with our IBS management, we are typically doing an awful lot of things to keep the disorder under control. Between the food, exercise and mental health stuff, we have a lot of balls in the air. Just because you are starting to feel more invigorated does not mean that you are SuperPerson. You are much more likely to return to your regimen of perfect IBS health if you start slow. Take on too much, feel overwhelmed and there is a pretty good chance you won’t get much accomplished.
Getting back to it
As far as the ‘reinventing the wheel’ advice, what I mean to say is that there is no need to fix somethin’ that ain’t broke. Was your diet working for you before the Winter toxins started to set in? If it was, then no need to change it. Just get back to it. I think we have a tendency to think that we need to make a new improved version of something when we are trying to get something back that we have lost or let lapse. There is no problem with reviewing your gameplan and seeing if anything needs tweaking, but if it worked before, no reason to believe it won’t work again.
That all said, I’m excited about Spring and sure as Hell glad that Winter is over. For those Winter lovers out there, you have my deepest apologies. I think it sucks :-). Until, next time.