Staying positive with ulcerative colitis
- Steps to make living with ulcerative colitis easier
There's no way to deny it—living with ulcerative colitis (UC) can be difficult. Even with treatment, you will still experience flares from time to time, and it can be very discouraging.
That's why it's important to take steps to keep a positive attitude. There are a number of things you can do right now to make living with UC easier, and to better handle things when the symptoms are at their worst.
- Respect your feelings: It's OK to feel dispirited from time to time. Be sure to accept that you may feel down every so often, while acknowledging that things can get better.
- Give yourself a break: Don't blame yourself if you have a flare. Whether it's because you think you ate the wrong thing or forgot to take your medication, sometimes flares will happen for no reason.
- Stay who you are: Some people feel that they need to stop doing activities they love due to the possibility of a flare, and they withdraw from friends and family. But with the right management tools, you can feel more confident that UC doesn't have to dominate your life.
- Celebrate your accomplishments: Sometimes, the smallest victories are the most important ones. Take time to recognize the everyday victories you achieve while living with UC, whether it's going a full day without a flare, sticking to your diet, or getting a chance to see friends.
- Acknowledge your strength: Living with UC isn't easy. Appreciate the inner strength that you possess and that allows you to manage your condition from day to day.
- Stress and ulcerative colitis
Everyone feels stress from time to time, but managing life’s expectations can be that much more stressful for people with ulcerative colitis (UC). The symptoms can be unpredictable, making everyday life more difficult to navigate.
While there is no evidence that stress can cause UC, it may trigger a UC flare. So, reducing stress will be important for your overall health and mental well-being. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and make sure UC symptoms don’t overwhelm your life:
- Make time for yourself: Be sure to put yourself at the top of your to-do list. Whether it’s setting aside time for a hobby, reading a good book, watching TV, or just relaxing, be sure to give yourself a break.
- Learn new ways to de-stress: Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises to help alleviate the effects of daily stress.
- Stay active: Physical activities such as light exercise and yoga have been shown to reduce stress and contribute to overall health.
- Get organized: Utilize free organizational tools available online to better manage your day and get things done.
- Ask for help: Reach out to friends, family, and your healthcare providers if your symptoms seem overwhelming.