Top 10 Positivity Tips For Women With IBD: As Told by 10 IBD Warriors
Celebrate tiny victories by saying it out loud to whoever will listen. A nurse, your friend, your significant other. Don't just say it in your head. Say it out loud to make it real. "Today's a good day because I was able to walk a little farther than usual.
Talking to friends and family (this helps me to talk about my journey and share bad times and good which in return gives me support and helps me to feel positive and not alone.
I live each day by the mantra “I’m doing the best I can, and that’s enough.” My best might be laying in bed all day and that’s totally okay. It’s about giving yourself permission to let yourself rest and do what is best for your health. Living by this mantra helps me stay positive when I start comparing myself to others and what they able to do versus what my body can handle at that time.
Remember that your IBD doesn’t define you - Whenever I have moments of overwhelm when it comes to my IBD, I sometimes feel angry thinking that this disease has taken over my whole life and identity. Whenever these feelings come up, I take a step back and remember all of the positives that have come from my diagnosis. I know that I am so much more than my disease. It has brought me things that are invaluable. I’ve made friends and developed a larger purpose in my life helping other women with IBD. I can actually thank IBD for bringing those things into my life. So, when you’re having a hard time and think you’ll never be at a point where IBD doesn’t totally consume you, think about the positives that have come from it!
Positivity doesn't mean never letting yourself feel negative emotions. Positivity means letting yourself feel those negative emotions but trying your damn best every single day to never let them win. Allow yourself to experience those negative emotions in order to process it all, label them as exactly what they are - negative- and then compartmentalize them away so that you allow space for the good ones to seep in and take over.
Natalie G. (@nataliegriffie)
Ask for help. You don’t have to do this alone. There is no shame in asking for assistance. There more knowledge you have, the more you can make informed decisions about your health. Don’t be afraid to seek professional care, reach out to other IBD warriors, or look into alternative methods of care. We’re all in this together.
If you told me I would wholeheartedly appreciate and love yoga two years ago, let alone even try it, I would of laughed in your face. I didn’t believe in it nor did I think it was a form of exercise. I was a girl who enjoyed going to the gym 6 days a week, sometimes even twice a day. Until recently, when I started to listen to my body, taking more rest days, and not beating myself up over what I no longer am able to do physically. Yoga came into my life and taught me so much. It powerfully impacted my mind in a positive way, allowed me to move at my own pace, stretched my muscles, eased my joint pains, helped me reconnect with my true self and reminded me to live in the moment. Yoga then led me to start practicing mindfulness and meditation. I’ve incorporated it into my daily routine, along with journaling and fueling my body with nutritious foods that are easy on my gut.
Natalie H. (@natalieannhayden)
Reward yourself. Whether it's after an injection or a scope, plan something ahead of time that eases the burden. I have a colonoscopy next week and I planned a date night at the botanical gardens that evening with my husband. We got engaged there four years ago, and it's my happy place. As I do the prep, it helps to know I have something to look forward to.
Focus on what you can control and do instead of what you can’t. On days when I’m especially fatigued, I may not want to. take a nap but know it’s necessary. Instead of getting upset, I make a mental list of all of the things I’ve accomplished that day, no matter how small! And if I miss a workout because of fatigue, I’ll try to perhaps get in a walk and be proud of my body for that.
Visualization has been HUGE for me when it comes to positivity and my ulcerative colitis. For me, stress and anxiety is a main trigger for my stomach and worst symptoms, so the more I become worried or stressed about the negative “what ifs” of the future, the more pain I am in. I have started diving further in to meditation and manifestation, and with that, visualization and it has helped me calm some of those anxieties. I visualize myself feeling healthy. I visualize pain free days. I visualize a future of remission. I even future-pace journal about these things as if they have happened or are currently happening. It gets me out of my head and reminds me to hold on to hope.