Ways to Relax When You Get Overwhelmed

Life is hectic. I think we can all agree on that. Life with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is even more hectic. Not to mention overwhelming. During the course of my disease, I’ve had several breakdowns and moments of depression. My disease has robbed me of so much, but thankfully, I’m not alone. There are some ways to help you relax when things get out of control!


“I think music itself is healing.
It’s an explosive expression
of humanity. It’s something
we are all touched by. No
matter what culture we’re
from, everyone loves music.”

~Billy Joel

One of my best relaxation techniques that I have found personally helpful is listening to music. Whenever my nerves, anxiety, depression or fear get the best of me, I like to turn up the music and get lost.

When I feel I need an energy boost or encouragement, I listen to the sounds of Owl City. Adam Young, the musical genius behind Owl City, has a way of arranging music to make you feel empowered and energetic. Some of my favorite songs include Beautiful Times, Dreams and Disasters, and Galaxies.

Another musical genius that I love is Jon McLaughlin. When I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I put in my earbuds and get lost in his beautiful voice and the keys of the piano. I feel like the words of his songs speak to my very soul and somehow he helps me mellow out. Jon McLaughlin has never failed me.


“I do believe something very 
magical can happen when 
you read a good book.”

~JK Rowling

When I was a little girl, I loved to read. I still do, but I don’t have as much time for it as I would like. When I get a chance, though, I like to pick up a good classic. Books have a way of drawing you into a new world and getting lost in it. It helps you forget your own problems for a little while. Books like Dracula, Pride & Prejudice and the Harry Potter series helped me escape some of my darkest days.


Hobbies can keep you occupied when you’re lying in bed too sick to do anything else. It helps pass the time and you can get lost in your work. Some people enjoy adult coloring books. They often say it’s quite relaxing. Others like to crochet or knit. I have found knitting to be very helpful in passing the time. Drawing is another. I have always loved drawing. Other people like to write stories or poetry. Not only can this help pass the time, but you can also express yourself. You can also express yourself with journaling. Keeping a journal is a fantastic way of venting your frustrations if you aren’t comfortable venting them to another person. I have found journaling to be very beneficial!

Movies & TV

I’ve never been huge on movies and TV. But my husband is. When he’s had a bad day, he likes to turn on a good movie and get carried away in the plot. With technology these days, it’s easy to turn on Netflix and have a TV or movie marathon. Many of my friends do this when they are too sick to get out of bed or recovering from surgery.

Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis isn’t easy. But there are ways to help you get through it. It’s ok to take time out for yourself and relax once in a while. It’s not only good for you, I’d say in a lot of ways it’s vital to helping you get through it!

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