a flame with sweatpants thrown on them while someone steps into the shower

Look Good, Feel Good

It’s no secret that dealing with a Crohn’s flare is hard. Not only does it take a physical toll on your body, but it messes with your mind and spirit, too. Every flare I suffered left me feeling ugly, sick, stressed, and completely mentally drained.

Attempting to feel better during a Crohn's flare

However, I knew that while there was only so much I could do to control the flare and feel better physically, there were some things I could do to make me feel better emotionally which included making myself “look” better.

A few simple ways you can feel better while dealing with a flare:

I was exhausted and felt weak and had terrible stomach pains and nausea, but doing small things to improve my image truly made me feel better inside and out.

1. Take frequent showers

There was never a day that passed while I was hospitalized that I didn’t shower. Simply washing my body and hair with good-smelling soap and shampoo transformed me to another level of feeling beautiful and confident. It’s amazing what a quick, hot shower can do to the mind and body, so staying clean and smelling fresh is definitely a go-to move to make me feel better.

2. Do one thing that makes you feel like your “normal” self

We are often limited to what we can do during a flare. Between going to the bathroom constantly and being on a restricted diet, it is hard to enjoy a normal daily life. However, I have found that doing something small, such as painting my fingernails or calling a friend would make me feel back to my normal, healthy self. And, a fresh coat of polish and some laughter with a friend will do wonders for your body and spirit.

3. Get out of those sweats

This is a big one! When feeling under the weather, the last thing you want to do is get out of comfy clothes and put effort into an outfit. But, it makes a difference to simply change out of your sweats and into jeans and a casual top. Even if it is just for a few hours, by putting together an outfit and wearing clothes that make you feel good, you will actually begin to physically better.

I used to apply some makeup, even if I was staying in all day (especially after my partial colectomy in 2014) just so that I felt like I had somewhere to go, and it made me feel excited and happy at the prospect of getting out of my one-bedroom condo. The mind can surely play tricks, so just making yourself think that you have somewhere to go and looking put together outside will make you feel just as put together on the inside.

4. Create an in-home spa

I don’t know about you, but giving myself a mini in-home facial or applying a luxurious body lotion makes me feel like a million bucks. Sometimes, sitting in a bubble bath with candles and soft music is the perfect remedy to a stressful day, and doing this while dealing with a Crohn’s flare could not be more relaxing! The next time you are going through a flare, create an in-home spa experience that will make you feel beautiful inside and out, and will also carry the stress away, even if just for an hour or two. Allowing your body to rest, relax, and heal is the best thing you can do when fighting through a flare, and your mind and body deserve it.

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