The day after having a particularly bad IBS attack you can feel a bit worse for ware. You may still be experiencing some painful symptoms or your body may just be completely exhausted. We have all been there and after years of having my bad days this is my list of ten things to do the day after to make yourself feel a little bit better.
- Rest – as obvious as it sounds its easy to forget that your body has just been through a stressful period and it is important to recognise that and give yourself time to mentally and physically recover. Don’t feel guilty if you spend most of the day on the sofa and feel a bit more lethargic than normal. It’s yours bodies way of saying ‘let me rest’.
- Treat yourself – this doesn’t have to be anything expensive or food based but running a lovely bubble bath or putting on a face mask can distract from any pain you may be feeling and provide you with a bit of relaxation. On days where I feel a bit down and rubbish I treat myself to a new book to dive into and distract myself.
- Peppermint tea – my go to after an IBS flare up. I drink it instead of coffee all of the next day. It is soothing and easy to digest and has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of IBS, so drink up. If peppermint tea isn’t your thing, try a hot cup of lemon water or lemon and fresh ginger, which can help to alleviate nausea.
- Go for a walk – if you start to feel better and feeling a bit cooped up if you’ve stayed in all day take a stroll outside. Walk round your local park or even just around the block if you don’t fancy going to far. Getting outside and some fresh air have been proven to boost your mood which is just what you need after a bad day.
- Eat plain foods – after years of having IBS I’ve identified the foods that definitely aggravate my stomach. You may not have figured out whats your problem foods are yet so your best bet the next day is to try and stick to simple plain foods. This gives your digestive system a break from foods that potentially irritate you. For example on days where I can’t handle anything to crazy I may have porridge for breakfast with some fruit, rice based dishes or plain vegetable soups.
- Hydrate – hydration is so important, it helps your body to recover after a bad attack. If you don’t fancy drinking plain water all day don’t forget things like tea all count towards hitting your daily water goal. As mentioned earlier I love to drink peppermint tea, but I also like to add lemon to my water. If this doesn’t take your fancy try adding cucumber or strawberries to your drink to give it a bit of flavour.
- Call a loved one– I find when I’m feeling ill and honestly just miserable after a bad IBS flare up I want to lock myself away and never leave the house or talk to anyone ever again but I force myself to call, text, FaceTime whatever you like to someone I love and who never fails to cheer me up. Wether it be a quick 5 minute catch up or an hour long call you’d be amazed how much it helps to speak to someone.
- Yoga – a proven stress reliever that gets your body moving. A little bit of yoga can go a long way. After an IBS flare up my whole body becomes stiff and sore and I feel more stressed as I try to find ways to get through the pain and deal with the nasty symptoms. Yoga works to stretch my body out and relax my body and mind. Reducing stress is a key way to manage IBS symptoms so if you can, give yoga a try. Take yourself along to a local yoga class or if you don’t want to spend any money or even don’t want to leave the house follow a class online. My favourite online yoga is with Adriene on her youtube channel, she has loads of different videos at all different levels. If you are not much into yoga, try some meditation or even just 5 minutes of mindfulness focusing on your breathing and relaxing your body.
- Use a hot water bottle – the one thing I can not live without after an IBS flare up. The heat relaxes my whole body and reduces the ache in my digestive system. I suggest investing in one!
- Get a good night sleep – a time honoured method for all ailments, sleep is a cure all. I am always exhausted after a bad IBS flare up and after a day of looking after yourself make sure to continue your self care with an early nights sleep.
I hope this little tips help you recover from an IBS episode. Let me know your go to tips and tricks for managing your IBS flare up.
Adriene’s yoga page: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene