Holiday Travel With Pain…It’s Possible with a Few Adaptations
Does the thought of holiday travel overwhelm you—even cause you to decline an invitation? These tips could help you ADAPT with less stress and pain:
Action Plan – Get ahead of anxiety and uncertainty by creating a plan that will reduce stress and thwart unexpected challenges. Consider how you can maintain healthy habits like proper sleep and nutrition while prioritizing the activities that are most important to you.
Distract – Distraction can be our ally in keeping pain at bay. Keep your mind busy with books, puzzles, music and other activities that will help shift your focus. If you’re traveling with children, this distraction can keep restlessness to a minimum.
Assertion – You have a plan, so don’t be afraid to communicate your intentions appropriately. If you are traveling with others, communicate your needs ahead of time to avoid conflict or guilt. Need a good night’s rest? Let the hotel staff at the front desk know you need a room away from a noisy elevator or corridor.
Pack Smart – Don’t underestimate the power of packing smart. Keep it simple and light by choosing wardrobe pieces that do double duty and fit easily into small rolling bags that meet size requirements. Wondering how to pack those gifts? Order online and have items shipped directly to friends or family or choose gift certificates or experiences that don’t require you to carry boxes or bags.
Transportation – How you get there is important. Look for creative ways to share driving duties and schedule stops as necessary. If you’ll be flying, check the TSA website for recommendations or accommodations for assistive devices; call or check your airline’s website for assistance and luggage guidelines. Budget, plan ahead and schedule for car services or taxis to minimize stress and exertion upon arrival at your destination.
by Alice Fleenor, Pain Management Coach
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