Vacation Downtime


In the past, I was on the go from the moment I left home to go on vacation until the moment I arrived home.  After chronic illnesses entered my life, I began scheduling downtime prior to and following my trips.  However, this was not enough after my condition progressed.

In the past year, I have realized how important it is to NOT schedule outings or expect my body to be willing to leave my bed for a minimum of a day or two after arriving at my destination.  Whether by train, plane, or automobile, traveling takes a toll on a chronically ill body.


After two days of riding in a car, my body is thanking me for not scheduling anything that requires leaving the hotel for the next few days.  Typically I would start scheduling outings for the second day, but I knew I needed to take precautions because I have four fun-filled days planned with family at the end of the week.

To further complicate things, Denver is expecting not one but two snow storms this week.  My body is not a fan of storms of any kind, but the storms that Denver beat me up like no other.  I lived here for two years prior to getting diagnosed, and it was here that I first began noticing my weather-related pain.  The bad news is I know that I will be experiencing more pain than usual this week.  The good news is that I am better prepared to plan around it because I am expecting it.


Anyways, by allowing for a day of rest after arriving, I give my body a chance to recover from the increase of pain resulting from traveling.  It also opens new opportunities.  For example, I lacked the stamina to go out for dinner last night.  Instead, we chose to eat at our hotel.  This particular hotel offers their guests dinner in the lobby several nights a week.

Instead of having to go out in the cold, we just went downstairs.  The tables were filling up fast.  A woman, traveling alone, and my family spotted the only open table at the same time.  I asked if we could join her.  She was delighted to have the company.  Throughout our dinner conversation, we discovered that we only lived a few hours away from each other in Southern California.  We also discovered that we had a lot more in common.  We had such a wonderful time chatting that we were both shocked when we realized that we had been talking for three hours!  After saying goodbye with hugs, I retreated back to my room, medicated, and had an excellent night’s sleep. Had I scheduled an activity for today, I wouldn’t have been as relaxed as I was last night and most likely wouldn’t have engaged in a lively conversation.

Did someone say SNOW!!??!!??
Did someone say SNOW!!??!!??

Today I am sore but not nearly as bad as if I would have pushed myself to go out last night or somewhere today.  For those who say, what’s the point of getting away when you could rest at home? I have this to say…. Yes, I could be resting at home.  I would also see all the housework that I would never catch up with. I would see all of my unfinished projects and more.  Resting a day or more before venturing out of my hotel is way more relaxing.  I don’t have much to stress about between housekeeping and room service.

So while not exciting, my first day is just what I needed.  I am thrilled to spend this day napping and writing.

Do you schedule a day of rest after traveling?  If not, you may want to give it a try!

Published by Cynthia Covert

Diagnosed in 2001 with psoriasis, followed by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, endometriosis, and later a botched hysterectomy turned her world upside down. Cynthia shares her experience, advice, and tips for how to make life with chronic pain easier and less painful.

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