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How Working from Home Has Made my Life Easier

My IBS journey started at the very beginning of my career, and at the beginning of a new job, too. Not only did I have to adjust to a new workplace, new responsibilities, and new colleagues, but I also had to learn how to live with my IBS all at the same time.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I managed to deal with it all that well. I don’t know how I would have felt about my job without IBS. But with the illness, I did struggle with massive anxiety every single morning and felt uncomfortable around my colleagues. Maybe I just started associating my workplace with flare-ups, anxiety and feeling miserable. But anyway, I didn’t like it there.

The whole situation impacted other parts of my life, too. I was constantly anxious, ate the same food for 2 years, and refused to go out because I was scared of making my IBS even worse.

So when my boyfriend found a job in a new city and I got the opportunity to move and start over, I knew that I wanted a change. I had always wished to be able to work from home, and so I decided to give it a go.

I don’t worry about IBS in the mornings anymore

When I worked in an office, I mostly struggled with IBS in the morning. Even when I had found a routine that worked for me and got up 3 hours before having to leave, mornings were a struggle.

For one, I had to get up extremely early, and the lack of sleep took a toll on my gut. So even though I was able to deal with most flare-ups at home, I still felt dreadful and anxious every single morning. I lacked energy throughout the day and had trouble falling asleep at night because I was scared of the next day.

Since I started working from home, all of that went away. I still get up early, but I always make sure that I get enough sleep. I don’t have to wait for my symptoms to go away before I start my day because no one cares how many bathroom breaks I take. The fact that I don’t worry so much about my flare-ups anymore has made my life a lot easier.

My flare-ups have decreased

As you can imagine, the decrease in anxiety and stress has had a tremendous effect on my IBS. There are days when I don’t get flare-ups at all!

Before, IBS occupied a good 60% of my overall thinking, maybe even more. I was constantly anxious about it, always looking to prevent symptoms as best as I could. Even though I knew that this anxiety was only making it worse, I just couldn’t turn it off.

Nowadays I don’t think about my IBS nearly as much. Even when I get a moderate flare-up, it doesn’t stress me out as much. I’m able to relax and wait for it to pass. I used to hate my body for doing this to me, and I don’t really get that feeling anymore.

It’s also been quite a while since I had a very bad day. My days now mostly range from no symptoms to moderate symptoms, and I’m very happy about that!

I am able to eat healthier and experiment with foods

When I worked at an office, I was so terrified of upsetting my IBS that I stuck to 3 foods I knew worked for me: sushi, potatoes, and red berries. Vegetables always left me bloated, and I couldn’t deal with that at work. So I barely ate any.

To be honest, bloating is still not fun even when I’m at home, but I decided that I needed to eat somewhat healthy, even if it meant working with a heating pad on my belly.

I’ve been experimenting with different vegetables for the past couple of months and found a couple of things that I can eat without getting symptoms. And I’m constantly working on a balanced diet that doesn’t make me sick but is healthy at the same time.

My anxiety has gotten so much better

I used to be anxious all the time. Not only when I was going to work, but every time I was leaving the house. Going to the grocery store, going out with friends, even going for a walk was a struggle. And while I didn’t let it stop me most of the time, I wasn’t able to enjoy my life like I wanted to.

When I started working from home, I was a little scared that if I didn’t constantly force myself to get out of the house, my anxiety would get worse in the situations where I had to leave the house. But the opposite happened.

Since I’m not as focused on my IBS anymore, I’m sometimes able to go outside without even thinking about getting a flare-up. And since there are so many situations that ended up being symptom-free, I’m less anxious even when I do think about it.

My anxiety is definitely still there and comes through once in a while. But it’s not every day and not even every week. Working from home really has made my life with IBS a lot easier, and I’m so grateful that I get to enjoy every day of my life again.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The IrritableBowelSyndrome.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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