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9 New Year’s Resolutions Everyone with IBD Should Make

It’s time once again to reflect on the year gone by and set intentions for the one ahead. When it comes to new year’s resolutions, many of us tend to focus on unrealistic, aspirational goals: from visiting the gym 7 days a week to never again touching a drop of alcohol. Most of the time, we forget them come February, but today I thought I would focus on New Year’s Resolutions that we all should be making. The simple but beneficial goals that can make a real difference to those of us with IBD. So if you are in a reflective mood, grab a pen and paper and jot down these nine simple promises to make to yourself this year (don’t worry, no exercise is involved!)

1. I will make more of an effort to reach out when I’m struggling.

Make this the year that you don’t keep everything hidden from your friends and family. The year when you say ‘I need a bit of help’ or simply ‘I need someone to vent to.’ Don’t feel comfortable doing it in person? Even joining a facebook support group and using it to share your struggles could help.

2.I will stick to one day per week (or perhaps a few hours) of doing absolutely nothing.

It might be difficult to achieve at first but taking a day (or even a few hours) to completely relax and let your body rest could make all the difference. You deserve it!

3. I will SAY NO

Leading on from number two, make this the year that you learn to use one word more often: NO! No, you can’t make every social engagement. No, you can’t take on that extra work at the drop of a hat. No, you really do need to rest before your flare-up gets worse. No, on doctor’s advise, can’t make it to work today.

4. I will take a notepad and pen to my doctor’s appointments.

Make doctor’s appointments proactive. We can often be rushed in and rushed out before we can digest everything has been said! Take your notepad and write your questions in advance. Make sure you’ve got all the information you need before you leave! Ever tried googling a medication name with no clue how to spell it?

5. I will NOT be made guilty for asking questions about my health.

Ever had that doctor who looks at you like your insane? Or the one watching the clock when you’re asking for more advice? No question should be off limits when it comes to your health- you are not being awkward in being proactive and wanting to understand your body.

6. I will instantly block and mute those who tell me they can cure my illness.

We can all get drawn into twitter debates, but do trolls ever learn? For the sake of your mental health, just block those who message you peddling the latest supplement or diet cure! Life is too short!

7. I won’t feel guilty if I flare.

We can sometimes blame ourselves when we flare: did we overdo it? should we manage stress better? Was it something we’ve eaten? Now, it’s really important that we acknowledge and understand our triggers-but never feel guilty. You have an autoimmune disease that you cannot control. Beating yourself up and asking ‘why has this happened?’ will not help!

8. I will make an effort to monitor my nutritional deficiencies

One thing that we don’t realize makes such a difference to our health is nutritional deficiencies. If we’re low in vitamin D, iron or B12, it can cause exhausting fatigue even if our IBD Isn’t flaring. I am constantly reminding my doctor to test these regularly (whilst he tests for anemia, vitamin D is also very prevalent for those of us with IBD). Try to keep on top of these and take your prescribed supplements (even the ones that taste awful!) if you can-as these can change so quickly!

9. I will make the changes I need to make.

Many of us resist change when we’re diagnosed. Why should we give up our dreams, cut back on socializing or switch careers? Why should a condition change our life? Having IBD should NOT mean you have to give up on a life you love BUT change isn’t always a bad thing. And, if I’m honest, it does change a lot of us? If your career is leaving you exhausted and you’re carrying on partying to make a point you won’t be beaten, is it really working? Are you resisting change that could actually be beneficial for you? IBD has meant a change of job, where I live and, in some cases, my friendship group. And my life is actually better for it! Don’t resist changes that could make your life happier and healthier.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • cirry
    5 months ago

    Such good advice. Will take it on board x

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    6 months ago

    I love this! These are such great resolutions! One of my favorites is the first. Reaching out to others for help! I think this is the hardest for me.

    I also love #8: keeping track of deficiencies. I feel that if I would just stay up to date with my blood work, I would avoid a lot of the fatigue that I deal with.

    Thanks for sharing these! Great post.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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