Saturday, May 24, 2014

3 Tips for traveling with chronic pain

By Erika Rizkallah

I just came back from five wonderful days at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference aka BRMCWC. Writers from as far away as Japan came to learn from gifted authors and writing teachers.

Traveling with chronic pain can be tricky, but the alternative was staying at home and missing out on something valuable to me.

                                     Me and my writing buddies, Angie & Sondra

I chose to go and enjoy myself and I thought I'd do a quick post on traveling. I hope this especially helps during the summer season, when we tend to travel more frequently.

Tip # 1 - Know your body:

The first thing we need to do is know our body and this can be a slow process. Keeping a journal and paying attention to the particular rhythms and nuances is helpful. God created each one of us uniquely and traveling can affect us negatively. We've got to know how we respond to different altitudes, how long we can sit or stand without discomfort and how much luggage we can lug.

Tip # 2 - Cope ahead:

The truth is that we are limited. Acknowledging this fact is the first step to coping effectively. Before I left on my trip I knew I'd have to skip some classes and build in rest and nap time. We were in the mountains and had lots of uphill walking on campus, so I made sure I wore my tennis shoes and took breaks. I also knew I'd sometimes have to say, "no" to my traveling companions or to invitations from others.

Tip # 3 - Plan recovery time:

I knew two six hour drives would wreak havoc on my back and neck, so I scheduled a massage for the day after I returned. Even though I brought a heating pad with me, it was more rigorous than I remembered. I'll just chalk that up to aging and make a note of it for next time. Plenty of naps are on my schedule for the days ahead.

It's important for us to have fun and live out our dreams. It may take longer, but that's ok as long as we keep moving forward!
Do you have any travel tips you can share? If so, we'd love to hear them.

                                               Happy Memorial Day!

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