Navigating Epilepsy: The Road Ahead

A “Grown-up Summer Vacation”

iStock_000041824346SmallAs we move through the summer I have been thinking about all that summer represents to adults and children alike. There is a lot we can learn from children and their excitement about summer break. The loosening of routines and high expectations for fun, coupled with the idea of non-structured lazy days and vacations, are not just things that children need and enjoy, but ones that adults living with chronic illnesses need as well.

More than many others, those with chronic illnesses often get frustrated, discouraged, or upset for many reasons—namely, that their illnesses affect their families, their relationships with others, and causes stress because you may not be able to do all of the things that you were once able to do.

I am not suggesting that adults have the same luxury of an extended break of routine and can enjoy weeks of carefree living during the summer time. What I am suggesting is that if your illnesses cause you to get upset, discouraged, or frustrated that instead of staying that way, you should give yourself a “summer vacation” in a caring and compassionate way.

During your “vacation,” you can listen to music you enjoy, read a book, take in the beauty of flowers or a sunset—or simply relax. Whatever it is you need to do, you must remind yourself of the thrill you used to feel when you heard the teacher dismiss you and say, ”Have a great summer!”

At the end of your mini-summer vacation (and you get to decide how long to make it), the situation that prompted your feelings may still exist, but chances are that your negative feelings about it will be much less than they were.

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