By this time on Thursday, my boyfriend and I will be in the air, flying to Corfu. It will be the first time we have been abroad together, just the 2 of us so we are both pretty excited about it. The weather is due to be hot which is a far cry from the weather in London today. We had been trying to find somewhere to go on holiday that wasn’t going to break the bank for months. Who knew looking for an affordable holiday could be soo stressful? Luckily after plenty of searching, we found the perfect one.
I am not writing this post to rub in the fact that I will be leaving London for a week in the sun but, to talk about the anxiety of travelling when you suffer from a chronic condition and some of the things you can do to make travelling a little bit easier.
Last year I travelled to Amsterdam and whilst I did try and make the most of the holiday, I did wear myself out. I didn’t give myself enough time to rest and just wanted to keep up with everyone else and do an see everything. I still have the mind of a 24-year-old who doesn’t have to plan for everything and can keep going without worrying about the repercussions, however, the reality is I am a different person now who often has to take things slower than I would like. I have learnt to listen to my body more rather than trying to fight it and am getting better at giving myself time to rest.
I am nervous that my body will stop me from making the most of our trip but, my boyfriend has reassured me that as long as we relax (which is what the holiday is intended for) then nothing else matters. How did I find such an understanding man? 🙂
A few things that I have found helpful
Pack in advance. We started packing weeks ago instead of it being a big task the day before
Make sure you pack enough of your medication. I use a weekly tablet organiser so that I don’t have to go searching for individual tablets every night and know that I have enough for the week. I’m also taking painkillers and my Celafen* cream just in case I need them.
*Celafen is a joint relief cream using the all-natural patented ingredient Celadrin and Mentholwellia. I have found it helpful for temporary relief.
Rest before you travel. Tomorrow I plan to do as little as possible to reduce the risk of being exhausted on Thursday. I know I will still be tired but, rest will at least put me in a better head space to travel.
We have printed off all of the documents we could possibly need. My memory is not the best and brain fog often rears its head at the best of times so there is no point adding more stress to the day by panicking about remembering flight times, transfer times etc.
Suffering from a chronic condition often comes with the joys of being weather sensitive. I used to be cold most of the time, even during the Summer but, now I feel hot through most of the year. I have bought clothes that will hopefully keep me cool, bought a hat to keep the sun off my head and will be spending plenty of time under a parasol. I am also pale as hell so I burn pretty easily. We have bought a factor 50 sun cream so I hopefully won’t be coming back to London looking like a lobster. I know the heat is going to increase my fatigue but, at least I can rest surrounded by the beauty of Corfu rather than the 4 walls of my bedroom. The hotel pool will also give me the kick up the arse I need to get some much-needed exercise as well as keeping me cool.
Give yourself plenty of time. Our flights are not until 16:40 but, we are getting the coach to Stanstead at 12 to allow plenty of time for traffic, check-in, security checks etc. The last thing we want to be doing is rushing to the terminal and dealing with unnecessary stress.
There is enough to deal with that you have no control over when you suffer from a chronic illness so my taking control of the little things that you can control it can make your journey just that little bit easier. These are all things that I have been doing to reduce my anxiety and make Thursday as stress-free as possible.
I will update you when I get back and will share any more tips and tricks that I find helpful whilst on holiday. If you are going on holiday or a little trip just remember to enjoy yourself. Chronic conditions have a tendency to suck the fun and enjoyment out of things so let’s take back our lives and enjoy the little things as well as the big.