Author: Brian Greenberg
Ever feel like there is nothing you can do in order to reach a better quality of life with your IBD? Does Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis make you feel like there is almost a dark rain cloud that just follows you around and takes all the sunshine out of your life? Many IBD patients know this feeling. We wake up everyday and can ask ourselves “Is this going to be a good day or a bad day?”
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis aren’t easy diseases to live with. They can make us feel isolated from the world: keep us from doing the things we love; keep us from spending time with the people we cherish most; even drastically impact important areas of our life and take away family and work.
When this happens, it can feel like a dark cloud is following us around and there is nothing we can do about it. At times when we are flaring, there isn’t much we can do about it. There are other times in our lives in between flares though that we have to remember that even though a cloud has followed us around, there are blue skies behind it. There can be better days if we just focus on the blue skies and not the dark clouds.
Here are 6 things that mentally strong people do which you can also do in order to have a better mindset with IBD and potentially live a better life with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Move on – Mentally strong people don’t dwell on the past or have long “pity parties” about how bad their life is. They don’t waste time feeling bad for themselves. If you have a bad day, take 12-24 hours to live in the moment and rest your mind and body. Then start the next day fresh and move on from anything bad that might have happened.
- Embrace Change – IBD can make us feel stuck. Like there is nothing we can do in order to control our disease. Sometimes we have to take it upon ourselves in order to make change happen and change our lives at the same time. Think of areas of your life that you’d like to change. Make physical, nutritional, and spiritual goals. Then go after them!
- Stay Happy – Mentally strong individuals don’t waste time and energy on things they have no control over. You don’t control your IBD and sometimes there is nothing you can do about it. Don’t feel bad about that or let others make you feel bad about it. Do what you can to stay happy in the moments that are good and don’t let your IBD bring you down when it hits. It’s not your fault; don’t make yourself feel like it is.
- Speak Up – Ever feel like you can’t talk to anyone about your IBD and it begins to weigh on you? Don’t let this happen. If we talk about our diseases in a positive way, others will react in supportive ways and be there to help. Speak up and share your stories with your friends and loved ones. If you do it right, they’ll respect you even more and you’ll begin to grow your support network.
- Take Risks – The strongest people we know take risks at the right times. With IBD this can be changing doctors, going to a new hospital, trying a new medication, or a number of other things. If a dark cloud is following you around, don’t be afraid to take a chance and try something new. Chances are if your quality of life is low, you have nothing to lose.
- Celebrate – Having some success and overcoming your IBD is a BIG deal. Take some time to celebrate the good things in your life and relax a little. If you are working hard physically and mentally in order to beat your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and are winning, you deserve to take a break to enjoy the moment for a little while. It’ll allow you to unwind and get back to the task at hand in order to continue to battle your IBD.
We all know that the dark clouds are going to come into our lives. When they do it’s not easy to get rid of them. Sometimes they can feel like there is nothing we can do and that they will be there forever. When this happens, take a moment and remember that behind any dark cloud there are blue skies. It might not be easy to get rid of them but we have to try in order to see the sun and the sky again.