bubble bath

10 Things it's Okay to do During a Flare-Up

Flare-ups are so incredibly tricky to navigate, aren't they? Sometimes we expect them, sometimes they come out of the blue and other times we're in them for so long, we forget what it's like to feel well. Even though we know we're sick, we sometimes do forget to take care ourselves-beyond the phone call to our doctor or dashing to get a prescription. The first step is to actually give yourself permission to take time out, change your behaviour and listen to your body. Here are 10 things it's perfectly okay to do when flaring:

1. Cancel all plans

It's easier said than done but when we're sick, we need to accept that we need rest. Yes, we're all busy and want to be good employees and friends; but we need to try to put ourselves first. It is okay to call in sick, rearrange plans and just stay home alone.

2. Ask for help

Talk to people and explain what's happening. Reach out and admit you're struggling. Let someone else look after you if they can.

3. Stay in your Pajamas all day

Comfort is everything during a flare-up. Don't even think about wearing fancy clothes.

4. Take an afternoon nap

Or an evening nap. Or a mid-morning nap. Just do whatever you can to get as much sleep as you can.

5. Cry

Yes, it doesn't solve anything and might seem petty, but sometimes we just need to cry. You'll feel better for it.

6. Feel jealous over people leading healthy lives

Sometimes we need to feel bitter too. Or jealous. Or even angry. Don't feel you have to suppress your emotions. Of course, it's not healthy to always feel this way and it's okay to see a counsellor to support you too. But don't beat yourself up when negative thoughts creep in.

7. Eat whatever you can stomach (even if it's not remotely nutritionally balanced)

Now is not the time to worry about perfectly balanced meals. If it can stay down, eat it. Mashed potatoes three days in a row isn't ideal but work with what you have.

8.Watch terrible movies

Anything to distract yourself from the pain is a must. My recent flare saw me wasting a whole day rewatching 90s teen movies (She's All That being my favourite if you're wondering) and it was pretty amazing. 24 hours well spent.

9. Keep pushing your doctor

Of course, it's pretty obvious to call your doctor when you're unwell. But some of us are afraid of chasing and pushing. Something doesn't feel right? It's okay not to take the first answer. Not happy with your doctor's treatment plan? Tell them! Keep pushing to get the answers you and your body deserves.

10. Treble your water bill

Oh baths, my old friend. Are multiple baths a day acceptable in a flare-up? Absolutely. Not only do they help soothe pain but they keep us clean after likely multiple bathroom trips.

On a serious note, water bills aren't cheap but you could talk to your provider about certain exemptions and quotas that can apply for chronically ill patients (For example, here in England, there is a scheme to help patients whose conditions require a lot of water get money deducted from their bill.)

I hope these tips have given you permission to make yourself a priority during a flare-up. It might not seem like it, but your body is trying it's absolute best to keep you healthy, so it's only fair we try to do the same.

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