Travel Tips for Living with Working Women with Fibromyalgia
Travel can be stressful and having fibromyalgia can make it that much more challenging. But being a high performing career woman, often travel comes with part of the territory. Or maybe travel is simply for pleasure. Either way, there are certain things you can do to make your trip go smoothly and prevent a flare up from occurring. Here are some simple tips to help you with your next trip.
- Pack as light as possible. Now for women such as myself who love to have lots of options when on the road this can be tough but with preparation it is doable. Try to stick with a color scheme so that you can limit the amount of accessories you will need. For example, pick clothes that you can wear with the same black purse and the same black shoes. Also if you pre-plan what you will wear each day that will eliminate bringing too many items. Simplicity in pre-planning your clothing each day will also add simplicity to your trip and one thing less to think about. The most important reason to packing light really comes down to the fact that the less heavy your travel bag is, the less likely you will be putting more strain on your body then what is necessary. You will also have less to unpack when you return which means less stress. I am someone who likes to have a million options and have everything I could possibly lead when I travel but I notice that when I eliminate all the extra unnessary stuff I just feel lighter, less stressed and have less body pain.
- Be Proactive with Pain. This was one of the most valuable lessons I have learned in general in preventing flareups but even more crucial when it comes to travel. In general I have my symptoms under enough control that I do not take any pain medication on a day to day basis. But when I travel I know my body is going to endure some stress so I travel with my pain relief remedies. These remedies that I use include over the counter advil, my all natural essential oil pain relief lotion called deep blue, Epsom salts, magnesium lotion, and a heating pad. The trick is that before I start feeling pain I use my various pain relief remedies and I use them in moderation throughout my travel particularly on the days that I am on a plane or in the car. This prevents my body from kicking into pain mode which can then be difficult to come out of. So whatever you do to treat your pain relief try being more proactive about pain and start treating it before it starts.
- Plan for recovery. It is so important that you plan down time after your travel. You do not want to get back from a trip and just go straight into something else whatever that might be. Plan for recovery ! Some ways you might plan are coming back from a trip on an earlier flight so you have the rest of the day to relax. If you are driving back, perhaps plan to have a travel companion who does not mind driving back so you can relax your mind. You can also make sure that when you return you have less personal “chores” to do. For example, you can make sure all of your laundry is done before you travel. You can prepare food for yourself and freeze it so you do not have to cook. You can even do part of your weekly grocery shopping that is not fresh your upcoming grocery trip is quick. I also recommend that the week of your return from your travels keep is as lightly packed in your schedule as possible. Whatever you do not have to do, do not plan on doing and even if you are feeling good resist the urge to overdo it. This will help your body and mind recover and will prevent a flare up.
- Stick to your routine. I know this is way easier said than done but it is so important to make the biggest effort possible to stick to your normal routine. It is really easy when we are traveling to think we are now in the clear to push the envelope and venture to doing new things. And while doing new things are okay in certain circumstances you don’t want to venture too far when it comes to your daily habits and routine. When it comes to eating, this can be particularly challenging when you travel because its harder to have access to what you are used to and because there can be a whole lot of temptation. But the closer to can stick to the norm the better. If you are used to eating a very clean breakfast of fruit for example, do not go for the biscuits and bacon. If you like to exercise or stretch in the morning, try to stick with it even if you have to cut down the time you spend. Maybe instead of walking for thirty minutes you only walk for fifteen minutes. Not only will you then get to move your body for fifteen minutes instead of doing nothing, you will then be able to jump back into your daily routine with much more ease and less stress. Its also important to try to stick as closely as possible with your sleep schedule which can be so tough when traveling. If you are traveling for work you often start very early and end late in the day. Co-workers might invite you to join them for dinner or drinks after. But do your very best to stick to your sleep schedule. If you are jet lagged that can add an extra huddle to trying to stick to your routine but I recommend in this situation to try to at least get the same amount of hours of sleep and perhaps an hour more than normal.
- Make some time for extra TLC for yourself. I remember I went to a conference that was highly charged and long days recently. We did get a good two hour lunch though which was extremely beneficial. Instead of joining the group for the whole lunch break to network and mingle I went for thirty minutes and choose to get to know one person well in the time. After I enjoyed lunch talking to someone new, I went back to my room and either rested in bed or took a hot bath and applied all my great pain and stress relief oils. This made an enormous difference for me in being able to get through the event and come home with no flare up. It is even more important to nurture and take care of yourself when you are traveling. If there is a spa, indulge yourself and book a massage. If you have to travel to a nearby location, take a ride instead of walking even if it is not too far. If there is a bathtub, take an Epsom salt bath or if not take an extra long hot shower. All of these little things add up to make big difference. Before you get to your hotel check out the amenities so you can pre-plan your extra TLC moves. Even check out the airport and see what is offered at your terminal. Make yourself as comfortable as possible !!
I hope you find these tips useful. Please email me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below and I look forward to hearing from you.