On average, only 46% of people with lupus who are of working age report being employed. While this could be due to a number of reasons, one is the fatigue that the condition causes. Striking the right balance between work and play is a difficult task for people without lupus. When you throw an autoimmune disease into the mix, it can make for a constant battle between adventure and exhaustion. However, if you are efficient about the way you organize your time and how you alter your working environments, you can work, travel, play and enjoy everything you’ve always wanted, even if it’s not exactly in the way you might have imagined.
Organization is Key
Many people have thrived in their careers despite the fatigue and pain that lupus can bring into your life. While it might take a little extra work, staying organized will help you not only succeed in your career but enjoy the perks of travel as well. You’ll want to begin with your medication. If you are going to be away from home because you’ve got a long shift at the office or will be out of town for a special getaway, it’s important to pack and label all of your required medication. Pack extra just in case something triggers a flare up while you are away. Set reminders for when to take your medication and stick to a strict eating schedule to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need while you’re working or traveling, as it can be easy to forget when you’re busy.
Combine Work and Play
As lupus attacks your energy levels and ability to engage in a variety of high-energy activities, it is important to take advantage of the energy you do have. Try to find ways to combine work and play to ensure you’re fueling your professional life but also enjoying the journey. This can mean writing about your particular lupus experiences for a blog while enjoying the waves at a beach (with proper sun protection) or finding a career that allows you to travel while still providing you with the benefits and time off you need to recover and recharge. The key to balancing work and travel in this aspect is to adapt your environment as much as possible to ensure you’re comfortable. Understand your limitations and don’t be afraid to ask for help or a break when you need one, whether working with colleagues or traveling with friends.
Be Open About Your Struggles
Oftentimes, people with lupus try to hide how they are feeling simply to please or appease other parties. To strike a healthy work-life balance and be able to factor in a little travel, it’s important to be open about your struggles. This can not only allow other people to understand why you might need to move a little slower one day or take more frequent breaks but it can inspire others to follow their professional dreams and indulge in a little adventure as well.
Written by, Jess Walter