The year has gone by so fast and it’s summer already! With all of the summer chaos, we have to remember to put more emphasis on self-care with IBD. Knowing when to rest is going to be especially important. Here in the Carolinas, we’re still at 76 degrees at 9 p.m. It is important to stay aware of our bodies and how we are feeling to avoid any unnecessary stress or issues, and to know when to take a break.
Knowing when to rest with IBD
No one asks to be sick, and I’m sure everyone wants to keep up with their friends and family. And, you still can. Just because you need a break doesn’t make you any less fun or important than your friends. Occasionally, it has been hard for me to rest because I “just want to finish what I’m doing,” or have so much to do that I “can’t possibly imagine quitting now.” Usually, on those days, I’ve packed my schedule full of things that need to be done, but instead of getting everything done, I finish maybe 50% and crash. It’s a crash that possibly could have been avoided with just a little TLC and “me time” during the day.
My most successful days are not the most successful because I started them differently. It wasn’t a case of waking up on the right or wrong side of the bed. I am more productive on these days because of making better decisions throughout my day. During my most productive days, I incorporate these key things to help me through:
- Know that you are not quitting. Taking a break is not quitting. You’re simply acknowledging what your body needs and doing what it asks of you to stay healthy.
- Understand limits. It’s much easier to come back to your work than it is to come back to your health. Don’t stress over what needs to be done, take your time, and take breaks as needed.
- Listen to your body. Are you so busy that you haven’t heard what your body has been telling you for hours? Or so excited that adrenaline is flowing and you haven’t even noticed the pain or fatigue you’re really experiencing? Don’t wait until it’s too late. Pay attention to what your body needs.
- Ask yourself questions. When was the last time I had a sip of water? Should I sit down for a while? Asking yourself questions can help you get back in self-care mode.
- Set reminders. If you have a really hectic day planned, try using your phone to set reminders throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something simple so you won’t forget to take time for yourself.
- Tell someone. Sometimes, friends and family can be your best resources. Letting someone know how I am feeling or that I may need to take breaks beforehand often makes me feel more comfortable when that time comes and can often help my friends to understand my needs better and what I may need from them.
Are you prepared for the summer? What is your summer self-care regime? Let me know in the comments below!
Note: IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of IBD News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to IBD.