Sometimes life with endometriosis can feel like conquering one obstacle after another – it forces a kind of self-care that’s less glamorous and more gritty. Rather than drinks with friends, it’s being bedridden after surgery. Rather than a spa day, it’s a heating pad on the couch. These setbacks can be even more frustrating to deal with while traveling: after all, we have places to go and people to see!
Whether you’re enjoying a vacation, traveling for work, or just living your best life on-the-go, you deserve to prioritize your health by building in time to nourish your mind and body. This is way easier said than done, so we’ve broken it down into three steps:
Step 1: Put it in your schedule.
Do you have a trip itinerary? Maybe you use the calendar in your phone or, if you’re like me, you enjoy the solidity of a physical planner. Whatever you use to organize your time, take a look at each day and make an appointment with yourself for at least 15 minutes.
Step 2: Tailor your rest.
Traveling is often more physically demanding than our everyday lives, and while increased physical activity is beneficial to our health, all that swimming and hiking (and yikes! Jet lag!) can increase the fatigue associated with endometriosis. Tailor your rest to restore your body.
Take a bath: Lying down in a bath cues to our bodies that it’s time to relax. The heat of the water lowers blood pressure (and stress), improves sleep quality, and actually acts like a “hot pack” to relieve muscular pain (keep the water warm-hot, though; water that’s too hot is hard on our bodies).*Bonus: Adding salt to make a salt-water bath helps reduce inflammation-associated pain! (Click here to read more about the health benefits of bathing)
If you’re building rest into a trip for work, you’ll want to tailor your rest to restore your mind. Try to start your day with meditation or, if that’s not your thing, set aside time to journal. Journaling increases mindfulness, boosts confidence and creativity, and benefits us psychologically by reducing anxiety and stress. (Click here to read more about the health benefits of journaling)
Step 3: Be flexible.
The busier you are, the harder it will be to prioritize rest (and the more you will need it!) Some days you’ll have enough time to squeeze in some exercise, other days you’ll have to settle for 5 minutes of deep breathing. When this happens, be gracious with yourself. Find new ways to incorporate rest into your day and into your life.
Countdown to the 2019 Minnesota Endo March