Scheduling Outings: Needing Time to Prepare & Recover

Recognizing and accepting that everything I do comes with a risk has made it easier for me to make plans. Gone are my days of scheduling events/outings and just hoping for the best. For example, if I have a day at Disneyland scheduled with an out of state friend or family member on the 15th, I make sure to keep at least 3 days prior blocked off as well as the week following it. I never schedule anything the day after I go grocery shopping. Traveling is exhausting, so when time permits I also schedule downtime upon arriving and before traveling home. I rarely schedule events or outings back to back.

Doing what I can to make sure I keep plans

Scheduling pre-event days and recovery days makes it easier to say no when tempted to do more than I should. If someone invites me out during the pre-event days, I am able to decline without guilt because I do this for every date I make. By doing this I am showing my friends and family that I care about the time we spend together and am doing everything possible to make it happen. I don’t always decline invitations during my scheduled recovery time because I don’t always need all the time that I have block out. I may estimate needing a week, but only need a day or two. However, if someone invites me out during this period I let them know that I may or may not be able to keep my commitment. Another factor is how soon my next scheduled outing takes place.

My method isn't fool-proof, but I'm trying

Instead of feeling depressed that I am only able to schedule a small number of outings per month, I rejoice in knowing I have those outings to look forward to. Before scheduling in this manner I was always canceling dates or increasing the amount of time I spent in bed recovering because I pushed my body beyond its limits. My method for scheduling isn’t fool-proof, I do cancel plans, but not as often as I used to. I may be able to limit my physical activity before and after, but I can’t predict when a flare will strike or how long it will last. I began planning in this manner two years ago. In this time, I have done more than I ever did after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. How do you schedule your outings? Do you prepare and allow time to recover from them? Or are you just making plans and hoping for the best?

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