1. Keep a clear mind
The mind can easily get clouded with thoughts, plans, worries, and – well, all sorts! Writing things down is a great way of clearing the mind of clutter and getting organised for the week ahead – for example, writing a to-do list. The key: the items on the list HAVE to be achievable, otherwise, they run on and on and possibly on some more, until they become something that transfers from list to list without ever being done (which is when frustration kicks in). The best bit about a list is the satisfaction of ticking items off as you complete them – happy mind!
2. Plan meals ahead
During a busy week, the temptation of the wrong food is all too easy, but by doing a little planning, you can get healthy meals sorted for the whole week, especially important for those following the low-FODMAP diet. Here’s one idea for planning low-FODMAP meals and below are some easy meal suggestions. Don’t forget too, always carry FODMAP-friendly snacks with you, just in case.
- Breakfast-on-the-go: make it up the night before = no morning rush!
- Make a batch of soup, divide into portable containers, freeze, and take to work for lunch = simple!
- Keep dinners simple (just the way I like ’em!)
3. Be mindful
Do you ever notice that your mind is running away from you? Or that you do things in automatic pilot? It’s all too easy in the demanding world that we live in to forget what it’s like to actually BE in the moment – thoughts racing off here, there and everywhere, all of which create a snowball of worry and stress, neither of which help IBS. The good news is that there’s lots of resources to help. From mindfulness programmes, to mindfulness colouring books, to free resources, to little reminders (after all, it’s the little things in life).
4. Aim to try at least one new thing this year and stick with it
Trying something new keeps you on your toes and eradicates that ‘stuck in a rut’ feeling that can easily pop up. It doesn’t have to be anything grand – it could be trying a new sport or hobby, or making a series of dishes that you’ve never dared to conquer! Again, it keeps the mind busy and focused on something other than IBS worries.
5. Give yourself a milestone to achieve by this time next year
I believe that having something to aim for keeps you in a happy, positive and focused mind frame and by setting a time frame it gives you an idea of what will need to be done and in what stages in order to achieve it. It can be whatever you want and you don’t have to share it with anyone. The sense of personal achievement will make you feel great when you’ve done it! (Takes me back to the days of junior school when we had a personal achievement folder where we would ‘climb each step of a ladder each time an achievement was made!) Why not write it down in a note to yourself?
After all, it’s all about balance!
Wishing everyone a healthy New Year and a happy gut!