Are you feeling OFF?
Chances are that Christmas and New Year with their set of social and dietary overwhelm have taken their toll. And that you have been feeling rough so far this January.
Starting the New Year in this way can be soul-destroying. Just when others are posting up their resolutions including their 10-mile run every day, you are just trying to get through the day and feel exhausted. You wonder if you are on the same planet!
That is how I used to start every year. I would inevitably have IBS flare-ups and also catch whatever was going around and it would last most of January.
Know that you are not alone. The majority of IBS sufferers are going through this too.
Instead of resolutions, I developed another way forward: Baby steps
No big demanding leaps. No major New Year’s resolutions. Just baby steps.
Firstly I didn’t attempt anything while I was unwell. I did my best to rest and give my body some space.
Then when I got to towards the end of January, instead of feeling frustrated that I had missed the boat AGAIN (it was a regular theme back then), I started.
The general direction became “looking after myself and my health”, and every month I tried a small improvement to get me going where I wanted to end up.
One month I started meditating (using Calm.com). Once I had done that for 30 days I decided to start using coconut oil. Then once that had become more or less automatic, I added 5-10 minutes of gentle walking. Then switching the TV off when there was nothing on and listening to some music or reading instead. Then going to the market to buy fresh organic veg with more nutrients left in them. And deciding to stop watching the news.
Little things that over time created positive change in my life and my outlook.
Why bother taking baby steps?
Because they give you a sense of purpose. They help you slide out of the passive role you may feel with your doctor, to one of action. Baby steps are ultimately a path to you calling the shots.
Yes, this approach takes time. But it creates forward motion and supports the desire for change.
Can it ever change?
Yes it can – and in ways you could never imagine. I couldn’t see how things could change back then. But they did change completely. This blog and my IBS coaching services were born too.
This year I’m doing a 5-mile walk every day and feeling amazing. There is no way I could have done this before. But I started with baby steps and have very gradually built this up.
So forget January and the holiday aftermath. The New Year starts in February. So you’re not late. You still have plenty of time. When you’re ready, decide on your baby step for next month.
Just remember: Whatever it is, keep it positive but gentle. We already spend SO much time being hard on ourselves.