As the lockdown restrictions ease, you will probably have mixed feelings about going out. It’s natural to be nervous, so here we share our advice for taking those small steps back into the outside world.

For people living with IBS, the medical advice is that you are no more vulnerable to Covid19 than the rest of the population, (if you have no other underlying conditions).  However, as you take your first tentative steps outside for weeks, remember:

Touch as few surfaces as you possibly can.

If you do have to touch door handles or shopping trollies, make sure you do not touch your face before you clean your hands. Keep your cleaning materials in your pocket or bag.

Keep your two-metre distance.

Keep your two-metre distance from all those that are not in your household.  Staying out of doors is safer than meeting people in enclosed spaces. So, if the weather allows, meet your friends and family in the park for a picnic. We have lots of recipes for people with a sensitive gut.

Avoid going out at busy times.

Mid-mornings’ /early afternoons tend to be busier in the shops than later on and try shopping mid-week rather than at the weekend. If you go for a walk, try and pick somewhere where there are wide paths and avoid the walks where you are unable to pass outside the two-metre distance.

Be mindful that fewer toilets are open

Many of you have told us access to public toilets is proving to be difficult with the majority remaining closed for the foreseeable future. As a member of the national Toilet Consortium, we are talking with a range of organisations to see how more toilets in public places can be opened safely. If you can, check where the open toilets are in your locality before you go out.

Stay close to home

With fewer public toilets available, choose the walks that are nearest your home. To avoid triggering your IBS through anxiety, enjoy a walk where you can nip back home should you need.

Set small obtainable goals.

If you haven’t been outside for some time and you are a little nervous, set yourself obtainable goals. Walk around the block to start, then maybe go to your nearest green space or park. After a walk in the fresh air, not only will your mental health improve but you might find yourself sleeping a little better too.

Be prepared with your IBS essentials

Don’t forget, we have a range of products in our shop that might help you when you decide to venture out. From single use sachets of hand gel, toilet bowl sprays and coin towels to the Radar key, which opens locked disabled toilets that are part of the National Key Scheme, (NKS). Order online here.

Focus on the positives

We understand it’s a difficult time but try to focus on the positives. The thought of seeing family and friends after months of lockdown and isolation is so cheering.

We are here for you

Remember that we are here to help and support you. Whether you’d like to speak to one of our experts, connect on social media or read reliable information about living well with IBS, we are here for you.