We are on the road now. Living full time in an RV.
We just started our journey a few days ago and are still getting settled in and something on my mind lately is the subject of having and managing a mental illness on the road.
The subject comes up a lot in groups we are a member of on various social media outlets, but I think’s something that needs to talked about.
How do we manage our mental illness in the terms of getting our meds and seeing doctors? How do we get back into a routine so we can remember our meds and our self care?
Well, so far it’s been tough, but like with anything else, it’s manageable and mental illness shouldn’t stop anyone from pursuing their goals or dreams.
We both deal with anxiety, depression and other issues and keeping our routine is important and difficult, whether on the road or not.
I guess I’ll go into ways we do it, but for now, I wanted to express how we are feeling and maybe ways you can stay safe on the road and feel good.
First thing to understand: Routine is your friend-If you had a routine at home, you need one on the road too. Routine is something that those mental illness can really benefit from. If you don’t have one at all, I suggest making one. It can be as simple as taking your meds everyday at the same time, putting them where you will remember taking them and making sure to keep up with doctors appointments.
Second thing to understand: You need to take care of you before you take care of everyone else-this one is hard for me to remember but so important. If you can’t function, you can’t help others function and this includes spouse, partner, kids, pets and others you form relationships with on the road.
Third thing to remember: It’s okay to not feel okay sometimes-it’s acceptable to have meltdowns and weak moments, it’s okay to have a cry and it’s okay to express yourself. This is healthy if you do it in healthy ways. Don’t go punching your RV neighbor, but having a cry in your own space or running around your camp like a madman is perfectly okay. Why? Because your health is most important. (see above)
Fourth thing to understand: Self care will keep you feeling safe-Self care can be taking a walk, cleaning up your space, drawing, writing, picking flowers, watching birds, making breakfast, crying!, meditation, demanding 10 minutes to yourself at the same time every day…so many ways. If it helps you clear your head and feel safe, then do it.
Final thing: DONT FEEL GUILTY-I know, this is the most difficult for most of us with mental illness, but it’s really the most important thing to remember and put into action. If you need a moment away, take it without apologies. if you need to take a walk and calm down, do it. If you need to take a minute to go off alone and cry, that is okay! This is your journey and getting out of a routine is hard. make a new one, practice self care, give yourself permission to feel.