Habits: Helping Us Find Control with IBD

Make your bed every morning – something I’ve been taught from a young age. Make your bed every single day and do not ever leave the house without doing so.

Something that seems so small right? For me, making my bed has been one of the healthiest, most structured habits that my mother taught me growing up. If you would have asked me at 10 or 15, I couldn’t have cared less about making my bed. But I did it anyway.

At age 30, I can definitely say making my bed every morning has given me exactly the structure I need to have a successful day, no matter how I am physically feeling.

When I make my bed, it has to be pristine. You see, this is one of the few things in my life I can control. In a life of “what if’s”, I choose to make the decision to make my bed every day. By having a crisp bed, I’m motivated to make everything in my surroundings like my bed.


When you live with IBD, life can be a game of toss-ups. You’re “normal” morning routine can be railroaded by paralyzing symptoms you didn’t think you’d have which are even worse if you’re not able to reach the bathroom in time. I refer to my life with Crohn’s sometimes as my “uncontrolled side.”

Because in truth, with IBD, you never know what you’re going to get one day after the next.

Most days, it’s impossible to prepare for what could happen, but most of us have our own ways of trying: packing extra clothes, giving ourselves more time to get to and from work, planning our routes around public restrooms we have access to, and the biggest one to me, planning my day around my eating habits. For me, I know which foods really trigger my strictures and areas I’ve had previous obstructions near. But there are some times that I can tolerate those foods and others, not at all. I never know when those times are going to happen, so I do all that I can to control my environment and not test the waters too much.

One day I might have oatmeal in the morning and tolerate it just fine, and the next, I might be hurled over in the bathroom with extreme pain, nausea, and loose stools. (It doesn’t help when you also are accompanied by IBS, which is much different than IBD, but can also be very mismanaged and inconvenient.).

Make a list of habits you find yourself doing every day

What are your habits you’re most proud of, that also help you feel organized? Is it something simple like wiping down the sinks before you go to work? Putting away your makeup in a certain, organized way? Picking up & making sure nothing is on the floor?

When I do these things, I find that I feel I am much more in control of things, even when my body is telling me different. So even if making your bed just to hop into it 2 hours later means you get it done, try making your bed every day. You’ll be surprised what it can do for you mentally to practice these good habits.

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

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