How To Look Less Tired When You Have IBD

Don't Try These Tricks For A Doctor's Appointment, But Use Them When You Need To

Fatigue is a common problem for people who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis cause you to be more than just "tired," they can lead to deep fatigue. Unfortunately, there are times in everyone's life when looking tired is a problem. If you are feeling fatigued and absolutely must be out and looking a little more rested, there are some ways you can fake it a little.

It should be said, however, that you should never try to look less tired when you are seeing one of your doctors or other health care professionals. Your doctors need to see you as you are so that they can make an accurate assessment and get a good idea of how fatigued you really are. If you hide your symptoms from your doctor, they won't get an accurate picture of how your IBD is affecting you.

Deal With The Fatigue

Tired Woman
Why are you tired? It might be difficult to pin it down, but it's worth trying to figure it out. Image © Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Easier said than done, but the starting point should always be to be actively manage your fatigue. It's more than getting a good night's sleep, but sleep is a good place to start. Figuring out and dealing with any other causes of fatigue could also help, such as night sweats, nighttime bathroom trips, or medication side effects. With a plan in place, it may be easier to deal with your day-to-day activities.


However you choose to meditate is right -- there's no "wrong" way to do it. Meditation should be a little break that helps you recharge. Image © Marc Romanelli / Blend Images / Getty Images

If you only have a few minutes, take a quiet rest to center yourself and calm your mind. When you start from a place of calm, it can help you to look less frazzled. Meditation doesn't have to be anything formal, it can be as simple as listening to some calming music or background sounds (such as white noise or rain) and closing your eyes for 10 or 15 minutes.


Tea Bags On Your Eyes

Tea Bags
It may seem strange, but tea bags can be soothing to dry or tired eyes. Image © Steve Allen / Photolibrary / Getty Images

One quick thing that you can do while you are resting or meditating is to put some tea bags on your eyelids. If you keep them in the refrigerator, you can pop them onto your tired eyes at a moment's notice. Just be careful that you use some tea that is packaged in unbleached cotton bags.


Girl Smiling
If you really can't do it -- don't force yourself. But if you can muster a smile it might help you. Image © Angela Valerie Photography / Moment Open / Getty Images

I hesitate to mention this, because I absolutely abhor it when people tell me to "Smile!" I'm not the type to walk around smiling to myself, that's for sure. If you absolutely don't feel like smiling, by all means, don't do it. However, if you have a job interview or a date or another important event in front of you, you can start off by smiling. Smiling does have some benefits for your mental health, and I have noticed personally that an encounter with an unhappy person can be turned around if you are smiling at them.


Wear Something Bright

Bright Clothing
If you have some bright clothing or accessories in your closet, take them out for a splash of color when you're feeling tired. Image © Tim Gerard Barker / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Nobody likes black clothing more than me, and I have a closet full of dark clothes to prove it. But when you're already tired, dark clothing isn't going to do you any favors or make you look like you've had a full night's sleep. Try a bright scarf or other accessory, especially around your face. This advice isn't just for women, it also works for men, too, who can add some blue or green to their wardrobe to brighten it up.


Cucumber Water
If plain water isn't your thing, you can dress it up in all sorts of ways to make it more palatable. Image © James And James / Stockbyte / Getty Images

Drinking enough water is just plain old good advice for every day of your life, but when you're tired, a glass of cold water can go a long way. If you aren't in love with water, you can infuse it with anything you like to make it more palatable. Plain fruit might be the best idea, because it doesn't contain any ingredients that might be a surprise to your digestive tract. Hot water infused with lemon with a touch of honey might help perk you up a bit.


Don't Feel Pressured To "Look Well"

People with IBD are very practiced at looking well and getting up and going to work or school when they really need to rest at home. It's absolutely not my intention to tell people that they must fake being well and try to look "healthy." However, there are certainly times in everyone's life when they'd rather look a little less tired and go about the business of the day. That is what these tips are for, so truly, only use them if you really feel comfortable doing so. You don't need to look "well" for anyone!

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