Over the past few weeks several clients have brought up a similar issue. It begins with a conversation about someone else’s vacation or weekend away. When I ask my client when they are going to take some time, the answer has been similar.

“Well, I can’t really afford to do that.”

“I’d like to, but I just can’t.”

“I have too much to do.” Or “I’m really tied up.”

OK. When I press my clients about how someone else’s vacation/trip/getaway sounds so enticing, I begin to hear sounds of “I’m not…..

-worth it

-entitled to it

-allowed to

My plea to all of you is – reconsider these beliefs.

We all know that stress is the #1 cause of symptoms increasing.

We all know that pain relief is directly related to relaxation and letting go.

We know that vacations/time out and down time may not correlate in a linear way to pain relief, but we sure do feel better when we can lay our burden of work and self care and care for others down and have a little fun.

Taking care of a chronic illness is a constant and serious business. I get that. But along with that I am hearing stories of not being allowed to take a break.

This is self defeating and wrong.

So, get your imagination and calendar in hand. Where can you go for 24 hours of being off task? If you don’t have a lot of money, there are options. Retreat centers, your friend’s house or your aunt who has a condo. You can stay in an elder hostel or get a friend to share their place. Or use your own home if you love your comfy bed and you can curl up in the air conditioning with some DVDs (your library has some cool ones for free) or a good book.

The key is to unplug from responsibilities and from being ceaselessly connected. Turn off the depressing news, your email, and if you can, your phone. Just you ( and anyone fun you decide to invite). If you really can’t go away for an overnight, make your own space as luxurious as possible. Use the good towels and the good soap. Do something extravagant. Order out. Rest. Create your own time out, time away.

Your body and soul will thank you.

You start the next week refreshed and with a little more energy.

You are worth it. You do deserve it.