The summer holidays are upon us and, as facebook newsfeeds across the country fill up with pictures of friends enjoying relaxing breaks in exotic retreats, it seems as if everybody around has exciting plans for the months ahead. However, if you happen to suffer from fibromyalgia, the idea of summer travel may provoke more of a sense of stress than excitement. Whilst a relaxing break may feel like just what the Dr ordered, a number of factors may cloud your enthusiasm and prevent you from becoming too excited about the thought of a holiday vacation:
- What if I suffer a particularly bad relapse whilst I am away?
- What if the change in weather causes my symptoms to worsen?
- What if I am too exhausted to keep up with the rest of the group’s planned activities?
These are just a few of the anxieties that may be running through your head; and you would certainly not be the first fibromyalgia patient to express these fears. Fortunately, the internet is full of useful tips and strategies to ease your mind and help you to plan for a stress-free holiday. We’ve decided to list some of the most helpful hints that we found, with further links to a few more. In addition, it’s worth remembering that a simple google search will assist you in addressing any other issues that might not be covered here:
- Plan in advance
Take time to plan as much of your trip as possible before setting off. Think of factors that may arise and then research and make arrangements as far in advance as you can. For example, when creating an itinerary of places that you might like to visit, think about access issues: will you need to use a wheelchair? Can you book one in advance?
Remember to try not to be overly ambitious with your list of “must see” places whilst away. Create a list of sites that you would like to visit, or activities that you would like to do, and then prioritise this list. You don’t need to get through the whole thing! When you are away take each day at a time and, hopefully, you will be able to make it through at least the top priorities on your list. The others can wait for a future holiday!
- Pace yourself
Make sure that you make time to rest in-between any planned activities whilst you are away. It’s very important to alternate between periods of sightseeing and times of rest. Ensure that your schedule is not too rigorous and can be flexible enough to accommodate the unknown factor of how you might be feeling each day.
- Become an armchair traveller
If you are not feeling up to making it away this year, don’t feel like you are wasting your precious holiday time. Plan a list of relaxing activities and try to take at least a week off from your usual routine to indulge yourself over the summer. This might involve trying out new activities locally, such as: a trip to the spa; booking a meal at a fancy new restaurant; or taking a day trip to a nearby town or museum. You can also experience the art of travel from your very own front room by reading a good travel book, or settling in to watch a film or documentary about a place you have never been, but would love to go.
If you haven’t read it already, it is also worth reading through our previous blog article about dealing with the heat over the coming months. Finally, you can find some further tips by following the links below:
Whether you decide to relax at home or brave it abroad this summer, we would like to wish you an extremely happy holiday season. Oh, and do let us know if you have any travel tips of your own!
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.