On my 30th birthday I was keen to go out and celebrate but instead my IBS flared its ugly head and meant I only felt less anxious once we’d cancelled our plans and I’d instead sunk my bloated, cramping belly into a hot bubble bath. This routine has become more frequent than I’d like and each time leaves me feeling frustrated that I’ve had to cancel my plans with friends, again. This year, I’m taking Anna’s advice (aka All About the Balance) and will start being more kind to myself.
Luckily for me, my friends understand and know my symptoms inside out. They know that sometimes I can’t leave the loo or that my IBS has left me feeling so exhausted that I can only make it as far as my bed. It’s me that likes to punish myself for letting my IBS getting the better of me and my anxiety, despite the fact that it can’t be helped most of the time. And that’s why this year I promise to be much kinder to myself. Go gently.
I may write a lot about ensuring you carve out time for yourself and yet somehow I fail to always do this for myself. In 2017, I solemnly swear to put my health, both psychical and mental, first. To start, I’ll be digging into this care kit made for me by the lovely Sanj of K.O Rasoi. It’s crammed full of my favourite things, from peanut butter pretzels and sheet masks, to head space aromatherapy roller balls and a three-year journal where I review each day, noting my highlight. It also contains a giggle stick, which is guaranteed to make you laugh every single time you shake it. It’s the perfect, most thoughtful present and sums up exactly what I need to spend more time doing, looking after myself. Honestly, the little things make a big, big difference.
I won’t call these resolutions because that title always makes them seem less achievable somehow, however, these are the things that I pledge to do more of this year.
I want to regularly practice meditation, making time to do so after work each day to allow my mind to unwind. This lends itself to carving out one evening per week and plenty of time over the weekend to rest and recoup, whether that means face masks or bubble baths. I will be kind to myself and I will keep repeating this mantra every day.
I will stop doubting my abilities, shake off the feelings of imposter syndrome, and put my best foot forwards, always. I’ve got this.
As I mentioned in my review of 2016 I have great plans to continue to openly speak and blog about my struggle with IBS. From following the low-FODMAP diet from the middle of January to my ongoing relationship and success with Symprove. From knowing where all the public loos may be on whatever journey I’m taking to being crippled with anxiety over every excruciating flare up that happens when I’m not in the comfort of my own home. I also have big dreams of IBS collaborations and YouTube videos sharing tips, tricks and complete honesty.
I will listen to my body and respect my gut. I will research, research and research some more until I know my exact triggers and how to squash my symptoms. I will show my IBS who’s boss.
And as always I’ll continue to laugh often and smile always.