Pain is awful. Whether you live with it long-term and have to find ways to control and manage it in your day to day life, or you’ve recently been involved in an accident or sustained an injury that is causing you short-term, but intense pain. It’s unpleasant. Being in pain, whether it is constant or it comes and goes, makes life harder. It means that you have to think more about what you do and how you do it. That your body needs more care and attention, and that some of your day to day tasks are more difficult. Being in pain can mean that you are unable to enjoy the things that you once loved, or that you find it hard to sleep and have to add battling fatigue to your problems.
Being in pain might mean that you put things off. You might postpone trips, avoid days out, see friends less often and give up your more active hobbies. You might even be tempted to avoid going on holidays. You might worry that you are wasting money on a holiday that you aren’t able to enjoy. Or that you won’t be able to cope with your pain without your home comforts and coping mechanisms.
Avoiding holidays because of pain is letting it win. A trip can be a fantastic chance to get some rest, and some extra vitamin D, to leave your stresses behind, and to do some things that make you happy. You might find that a holiday improves your pain levels, reduces inflammation, and helps you to cope. But, only if you manage while you are away.
Take Your Medication
The most important thing that you can do when travelling with any condition is stock up on enough medication to help you get through. Even if your pain is short term, you should make sure that you’ve got plenty of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and topical anaesthetic. But, before packing, double-check any restrictions that the airline and your destination may have.
Prepare Your Body
If you’ve been spending all of your time resting at home, suddenly getting up, flying to a different country and then expecting your body to let you explore and take part in activities while you are away might be a little bit unrealistic. You’ll put too much pressure on your body. You might make things worse or sustain further injury.
Instead, build up slowly. Increase your activity gradually, try to spend a little more time on your feet, and practice some gentle exercises to prepare your body. Ask your doctor for some exercises that you can do at home, and even while you are away, that will help to loosen your muscles and joints and keep them strong enough to support you.
Be Carefully on the Flight
The flight might seem like the easy part. But travel is never easy. It’s usually the most stressful part of a holiday. As well as the most physically and mentally exhausting.
Try to sit down as much as you can at the airport, make sure you drink lots of water, and once you board the plane try to get comfy. Wear comfortable clothes that are loose fitting and give you room to move, and get up for a walk around when you need to.
Get Lots of Rest
You might have a big list of things that you want to get done while you are away. But, try to restrict yourself to a few significant activities with plenty of rest in-between. For every tourist day out, spend another lying by the pool or relaxing on your balcony. List what you want to do in order of importance, doing what you want to do the most, early in your holiday. If you don’t get in finished, come back again in the future.
Look After Yourself
The very best way to manage your pain is always by looking after yourself. Get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water and keep on top of your medication and exercises. It can be tempting to let things go and overindulge while on holiday, but you might not be able to afford to do this.
Take Some Home Comforts
If there are specific things at home that help you to feel better, that comfort you and help you to get past your pain, could you take any of them with you? Anything that easily fits in your bag and helps you to cope, take it.
Listen to Your Body
Listen to your body. Recognise when it needs more rest or pain relief. Know your own limitations and give your body what it needs. Collaboration.