Adult female's stomach with angry face shouting due to a flare

6 Tips for Dealing With a Bad Mood During a Flare

Last updated: July 2022

I don't know about you, but when I am flaring, I am in a horrible mood. I need my space because I am grumpy and miserable, so don't expect sunshine and flowers.

The thing is, unless you have a Crohn's or colitis diagnosis, you truly don't understand how hard a flare can be and what it does to your mental health. Sometimes those around you just don’t get it. So here are some tips to help get you through the bad moods that come with a flare.

What I do when fighing a flare

Being honest with those around me

I am always so straightforward with family and friends whenever I am in a flare and need my space. I simply give a heads up like, "Hey, I'm feeling horrible because of my Crohn's so I am in a crappy mood. Sorry if I'm snippy." I literally say that so they know and understand why I am irritable. I find that honesty is the best policy, always.

Asking for space

Again, if you need your space, ask for it. No one can read your mind. If you need quiet time in your room, let your spouse know. Same if you live at home with family. You can say something like, "Mom, Dad, I am in a lot of pain and it is super important that I get rest and quiet time right now. I'll be in the my room with the door shut." Communication is key.


Unless it is a severe flare, where you are in the fetal position with a heating pad and can't move from bed. If you can get yourself to take a warm bath or listen to some soothing music, things of this nature can really help improve your mood and symptoms.  I love a warm bath with essential oils and some candles. Also, just being snuggled in bed with a heating pad and a nice aroma from an oil diffuser is amazingly soothing. Self-care is the best.


Getting outside and feeling the sun on your skin is one of the best remedies to improving a bad mood. Even when I'm flaring and feel miserable, just sitting outside in the sunlight for 10 minutes can make all the difference. I highly suggest trying this.

Breathing exercises

Doing simple breathing techniques can totally change your mood. My go-to is breathing in through the nose for 4 counts and breathing out through the mouth for 7 counts. Do this about 3 times in a row and you will feel like a new person. It is very impressive how helpful breathwork can be.

Asking for help

Lastly, sometimes when you are irritable during a flare, it can be due to the fact that you are overwhelmed. Asking for help can help ease stress. So if you are in bed, struggling with pain, ask a friend or family member to get your groceries, or clean the dishes. People are way more compassionate and helpful than we give them credit for.  When I was living in New York City on my own, I had the best group of friends that would pitch in and help me out during bad flares. It always lifted my mood.

How do you cope with an IBD flare?

How about you? Any tips you can share to help improve a bad mood during a flare? Share below, we love to hear from you.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

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.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

What has been the most helpful for managing IBD symptoms?