It's OK to Rest!
Taking a nap may be the most pleasurable, simple luxury for those suffering from Crohn's or colitis. However, it may also be one of the biggest reasons for experiencing guilt while living with IBD.
Sometimes we feel like we are being "lazy" or being tired is "just in our heads" when we really need the few minutes of respite to recharge and refocus for the remainder of the day. I have always been a fan of napping, but would feel like I was missing out on something if I took some time out of my day to catch a few zzz's before dinner.
Regardless of your reason for fighting a nap, below are a few ways napping can benefit your mental and physical health and why you shouldn't feel guilty for taking a brief siesta when you need it!
Napping recharges your battery
Have you ever felt like you are just running on empty and everything you do feels like a chore? IBD can be so depleting.
Taking a quick nap will allow you to recharge your battery and step back into whatever you were doing with ease and enthusiasm. And, as a bonus, you will be less likely to rely on refined sugar and caffeine (which are common gut irritants for those with IBD) to put a pep in your step which will prevent a major energy crash later in the day. Win-win!
You make better decisions when rested
When operating under fatigue, it is very difficult to make important decisions and think clearly.
Our judgment gets clouded and sometimes we make irrational decisions because we are too tired to think logically or are so irritable because of our fatigue that we make hasty choices which may not be in our best interest.
Taking a nap allows our brains to shut down and recalibrate, and clears the fog that may impede our judgement.
A nap can improve your mood
Children aren't the only ones who get cranky when they are in need of a nap. Feeling rundown and exhausted leads to irritability, which effects everyone and everything around you.
Have you ever noticed how you can be so tired that the most minor inconvenience can set you off? Running on empty isn't only detrimental to your physical health (more on that below), but negatively affects your mental health, too. And, being in a bad mood leads to further bad decisions and a tendency to indulge in unhealthy foods (good old sugar and caffeine) which can lead to GI pain and discomfort.
Your body needs it, especially with IBD
Our bodies need rest. Living with a chronic illness like Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, we are constantly at battle with our bodies, trying to get them to heal and combat any setbacks that come our way.
Taking some time to listen to your body and giving it the ability to rest and recover is critical. Sometimes, we like to ignore our body and push through bouts of IBD fatigue, but it is important to pause and honor what our body and mind needs in order to be in the best physical and mental shape possible.
Have you experienced joint pain as a symptom of Crohns or UC?