Have you had a fibro vacation lately? We can’t tell fibromyalgia to take a hike (or can we?), but we can look for reasons to get a break. A break puts some space between our chronic illness health challenges and our daily stressors. And, sometimes a little bit of distance can make a whole lotta difference.
Why Go On a Fibro Vacation?
It’s important to take a minute to explore the topic of motivation. Why? Because nothing happens without motivation.
Motivation creates action.
Something needs to prod us into action. For some, it takes no prodding; vacations are a yearly (or even more frequent) event. For others, there needs to be a compelling reason. Something needs to get the ball rolling.
Here’s an exploration of a few of those reasons. And why some reasons are better than others
3 Bad Reasons to Take a Fibro Vacation
- You have to go out of town anyway. Perhaps you’re attending a family event like a wedding or funeral and decide to tack on an additional night or two to your trip. Or, you’re away on business and add on a weekend to make it worth your while.
- You’re prompted by an expiration date. You suddenly realize you have airfare miles or hotel points that are going to expire, so you quickly book a short-term stay nearby.
- You’re foisted out of your house. Maybe you’re launched on purpose for construction reasons — new paint, carpet, or fumigating. Or, you’re spontaneously evacuated due to fire, flood, or some other disaster. Either way, you’re only off the premises because of orders to do so.
Why are These Bad Reasons?
Of course, going on vacation isn’t bad. What IS bad, or more to the point, not ideal, is the intention behind the trip.
Caring for our health takes intention, planning, and practice.
It takes a concentrated approach to make our health a priority. This is the main issue. The care and management of your health shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Notice how in each of these scenarios the vacation is not the priority?
(NOTE: Leaving your house due to an evacuation is not a vacation in any sense. Evacuations are scary, anxiety-provoking, and impromptu by nature. I only included it here as they’re a common occurrence in our fire-prone neighborhoods. And, I know of friends who’ve turned these instances into opportunities to spend quality family time in a vacation-like setting such as a hotel. They’ve made the best of a bad situation.)
A BETTER Reason to Take a Fibro Vacation
It could be said that any reason is a good reason to take a vacation. There’s definitely truth to that.
But let’s make it better.
Let’s make the reason to go on vacation full of positive intention, meaning, and purpose.
Here’s what I’d like you to practice saying to yourself:
“I’m going to take a vacation because it’s good for my body, mind, and soul. I need and am going to take, a break to relax my body and revitalize my spirit.”
What Does a Vacation Mean to You?
We all need a break. A break in our routine gives us time to gather up our resources and seek out fun, fulfilling, and satisfying activities.
When chronic illness looms on a daily basis, we need this more than ever.
We need a break from stress, therapy appointments, doctors visits, and especially from worries about our health.
It’s time to put some thought into what feeds your soul.
What are you missing in your day-to-day existence?
Vacations can give us time to allow things to happen rather than going from one scheduled task to another. In a busy routine, we’re worried about what we haven’t gotten done and about what we’ve yet to do. In both circumstances, we’re completely absent from “now.”
Vacations allow us to visit “now.”
Here are a few “now” moments I grabbed this past weekend.
Watching seals and sea lions in their natural habitat is fascinating. And, educational.
They dive through oncoming waves to catch fish. They eat enough to sustain themselves and have a lot of fun in the process. They swim, play, frolic (a very underused word/activity in today’s environment) and best of all – they rest.
Seals really know how to rest.
They find a cozy spot and bask in the sun. They sleep even with others bumping and bouncing them. The babies climb over piles of adults who don’t even flinch.
Yes, they’ve got “resting” down to a science.
We can learn a lot from them.
As I stood just a short distance away from lounging seals, a rogue wave came up and got my capris wet from the knees down. I didn’t care. When I sat down to take a few photos, I realized that toes in the sand and wet hems were symbolic for “resting” for me.
How do you rest? How do you take a break and rejuvenate?
How will you “allow” your body to relax long enough to gain a few health benefits along the way?
Vacations give us permission to focus on things that bring us joy.
Have you recently taken inventory of what brings you joy?
Vacation from (What?) Work
I’ve heard this before. “But, I don’t work!” I work with clients who are on full-time disability. Or, they’ve retired – either due to medical necessity or from choice.
First things first. “Yes, you do work.”
Unless you’re a seal who slumbers on a rock 24/7, you do have responsibilities in life. You have tasks, routines, and activities that keep you strapped to your current schedule. That’s why you, as much as (or even more than) anyone, need a break.
You could use a healthy disturbance. Shaking things up now and then is a good thing. You may return from your vacation to the same routine, but you’ll do so with a renewed purpose and drive.
We ALL need a break.
Wrapping Up Reasons to Vacation
Anytime you get a chance to get away, I suggest you take it. I recently experienced reason #2. It gave me a nudge to check out hotels and a deadline to book one. It was a use-it-or-lose-it scenario.
Was it an ideal reason for a getaway? No. I could have planned things differently and made it a trip that was all about recharging my batteries. But sometimes, the going is more important than the reason.
It was a wonderful trip. It was our first getaway in many years without Pup. We went to a nearby resort village We’ve driven to and through many times. But, staying in a hotel there gave us the opportunity to see it from a different view. We got a local perspective. We experienced the ebb and flow of seaside life. Hearing seals (and gulls) from the hotel room was different enough from my daily life to give me a much-needed shift. I came home with an energy boost that will serve me for weeks to come.
On the way home, my husband and I both said, “When’s our next trip?”
Methinks we’re on to something. 😉
We need to get away from work. We need to recharge our physical and spiritual batteries. We need to reconnect with ourselves and with each other.
These are ALL great reasons for a vacation.
What are your favorite reasons, and when are you going?
Traveling with chronic illness can be a challenge. So before you hit the road (or your favorite mode of travel) be sure to check out this article — > How to Travel With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness.
I look forward to reading your comments! Have you traveled lately? Please share!