A calming morning routine to manage IBS

For most of my life, I’ve suffered with IBS. Over time, I had gotten used to being in a constant state of bloating, constipation, and exhaustion.

What finally ended this feeling was a strict, calming morning routine.

I was hesitant to share this publicly because I thought IBS is quite an embarrassing problem to have. But I’ve shared this routine with friends and it has helped them. So if this helps more people, I am willing to get over my embarrassment and put it out there.

So here’s how it goes:

The night before

This routine starts the previous night with prepping oats. Here’s my recipe:

  • 1/2 cup regular oats
  • 1/8 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp peanut butter (I like peanut butter without any sugar or other added ingredients. Under ingredients, the label should only list peanuts and salt. Normal peanut butter works too)
  • A pinch of salt to taste
  • Enough soy milk to drown all the other ingredients. Maybe 1 cup (Regular milk works too. I just like the soy milk)

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. It should look like this:

Overnight Oats at night

You could add maple syrup, sugar, or other sweeteners into this mixture if you need it to taste sweet. Some people like adding honey too but it makes me constipated and defeats the whole purpose of this routine. So I avoid honey.

I also used to add frozen berries but it started getting expensive so I stopped.

The morning routine

I wake up whenever I can. If I wake up earlier than 8 am, I just start working. The time between 8 am and 9:30 am is reserved for eating breakfast and chilling out. At 8 am, I make a cup of cofee, get my breakfast from the fridge, and join the London Writer’s Salon zoom.

It’s important not to work or consume anything that will rile me up. So, I don’t code, debug issues, open slack, look at TikTok or other social media, or make any intense, detailed plans.

I like to eat my oats and drink coffee while writing morning pages, blogging, reading a book, crocheting, or talking to other people (no debating or fighting).

For a lot of people, this is enough to get them running to the bathroom.

I then eat a banana. If I’m still not feeling it, I go on a 1-mile walk or do chores that make me move around (sweeping for eg). I don’t like intense exercise like running or jumping rope because I think it leaves too little time for the fiber in the oats to bind to everything in my stomach.

At this time, I feel more than ready to come back home and go to the bathroom. I spend 10-20 minutes in there. Afterwards, I feel fresh and ready to continue with the rest of the day.

Exceptional cases

When I’m home, I follow this routine almost every day. However, when I’m traveling and can’t get the ingredients for the routine, I just eat a banana and furiously walk around. It’s not as satisfying and complete as normal but it works to an acceptable standard.

If I can’t get a banana or I’m low on time, I just drink a lot of water and hope for the best 🤞

I love my mornings now

This routine is quite specific and time consuming. But because of it, I look forward to my mornings. I love the taste of chocolatey, blended oats with fresh coffee and having the time and space to just relax (especially because it’s good for my health 😉)

Overnight Oats in the morning