It’s not easy having IBS during Thanksgiving. Besides the fact that you are inundated with tons of different foods you are also eating in different social situations and although we love our families sometimes being with our families can be stressful. These two things combined make a bad combination for people suffering with IBS and can turn the “holiday” into a “hellday”. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, there are things you can do to enjoy this plentiful time.
If your goal is to experience a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day here are the top five things I do during Thanksgiving to make it a healthy and successful event.
1) I always eat very slowly. This is something I’ve done unconsciously my entire life but I found in my studies that eating slower actually helps with digestion.
2) I’m also very cautious of the foods I eat. I know it’s fun to try tons of new things during the holidays but I found that sticking with what I know works for me and adding little flavors or treats here and there always leads to feeling much better the next morning.
3) If I’m going to a family member or friend’s house I often bring different foods that I know agree with me. Sometimes people feel awkward because they feel that they’re offending the host or don’t want attention from people who may ask questions. But I have found letting go of any of the thoughts or discomfort around bringing your own food is crucial because what you’re really doing is giving yourself what you need. People do and will understand that. You don’t even have to explain it to then. You can just say that there are certain foods that are more agreeable with your system. There are so many people with different dietary needs like gluten free or egg free that people really understand and it’s not a source of embarrassment.
I also practice different mental activities during Thanksgiving to keep down my stress level so I can have a successful digestion and overall health.
4) Since it’s Thanksgiving a great way to do that is to focus on gratitude. Although there many things to be thankful for on Thanksgiving I find focusing on specific items to feel good about really makes a difference. Find three specific things that you are grateful for inputs and focus on them throughout the day.
5) You can also keep a list of the things that are pleasurable to you that day and if you feel that your IBS symptoms are having an impact on your fun go back and look over your list. I read recently from Dr. Christine Northrup that”the nervous system can’t tell the difference between the experience and the imaging of it.” So re-reading the last will give your mind the pleasure boost that it needs.
Last but not least: enjoy your day. We spend so much time worrying, that we often forget how much we do have so much to be thankful for and that we can create joy in our lives despite circumstances.
With much love I am thankful for you,
P.S. Looking for more tools to help you create less stress and more freedom every day? Check out my e-book Listening to Your Gut: Connect with Your Body and Get IBS Relief