10 Tips for the Holiday Season

The Holiday Season Doesn't Have To Cause Your IBD To Flare

We know that stress can worsen inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and while the holiday season is enjoyable, it brings a certain amount of challenges. Fortunately there's a lot you can do to head off problems this time of year before they even start.

Keep To Your Routines

Time is going to be your worst enemy and your best friend. Healing will take time -- don't rush it!. Image © Billy Currie Photography / Moment / Getty Images

Continue to take your medication on time and get regular rest. Straying from the diet and daily routine that is working for you could bring on a flare-up of your IBD.

Beating The Blues

Contemplating her next move
PeopleImages / Getty Images

If you feel the holiday blues coming on, don't be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider. The sooner you get help, the better you will feel throughout the season. Keep your spirits up with some holiday jokes, spoofs, and poetry.

Don't Party Too Hard

Group of friends sharing a meal.
Gary John Norman / Getty Images

Decide which social functions you can realistically attend without causing yourself too much stress. Running yourself ragged to make every holiday party you're invited to can leave you too tired to enjoy any of them. Be up front with family and friends about holiday doings. Let them know that you may pass on some traditional holiday foods in order to avoid being ill. If you're throwing a party, keep it simple to save yourself energy and frustration.

Be Smart About Shopping

Woman Shopping
Do you need to buy all new clothes? Probably not! You can make your wardrobe work with your stoma. Image © Paper Boat Creative / DigitalVision / Getty Images
Holiday shopping while wondering where the restrooms are isn't anyone's idea of fun. Why not do your shopping on the Internet or by catalog? Remember to start early to give plenty of time for shipping. Avoid stress after the holidays by budgeting for holiday shopping. Stick to your budget to avoid impulse buys, over spending, and over shopping.


If drinking bothers your IBD, make sure you steer clear. Photo © mluedtke

Holiday gatherings tend to be centered around food and drink. Be sensible about holiday drinking. Some people with IBD find that alcohol can contribute to symptoms such as diarrhea or gas.

Take A Break

Need a break? Then take one, and don't let anyone get in your way. Photo © Simona Dumitru

Take a time out for yourself if you need it. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be detrimental to your health. Some quiet time to de-stress is important. It doesn't have to be anything formal -- it could be any activity that relaxes you.

Prepare Well For Holiday Travel

Map of the highway system
Road trips are not out of the question when you have IBD. You just have to make a plan. Image © National Highway Transportation System

If you're traveling across the country or just across town, be sure to prepare yourself and your companions in the way that's best for you. Leave plenty of time to get to your destination -- plan in some bathroom breaks!

Share The Love

Bring your family and friends into the fold, and with them behind you, you can better achieve your goals. Image © Credit: Sam Edwards / Stone / Getty Images
Remind your family and friends how much you love them by telling them. Take the time out of your busy schedule to reconnect with the people you care for. After all, this is what the holidays are all about!

Holiday Greetings

Take a little shortcut and get one item checked off your list really quickly. Photo © Felixco, Inc.

Save time and money and send some Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, or New Year e-cards instead of the paper variety. Most people don't mind getting holiday cards by email, especially if you can include pictures or details about your year.

Remember That Life Isn't Perfect

Dropped Cupcake
Whoops! Mistakes and upsets happen -- what matters is how you deal with them. Photo © Michael Lorenzo

Too many of us strive to have the "perfect" holiday parties and gifts. Take it easy on yourself -- you can still have a great time even if the food and decorations don't turn out picture perfect.

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