Vacationing with Schizoaffective Disorder During a Pandemic
Taking a vacation when you have schizoaffective disorder and there’s a pandemic going on can be very tricky. But I went for a weekend getaway to Door County in northern Wisconsin with my mom a couple of weeks ago--our annual mother-daughter trip--and we had a very good time.
The Challenges of Vacationing with Schizoaffective Disorder and a Pandemic
Even though we had a good time, there were challenges to the trip. It was the first time in months we had used public bathrooms on the road. We went through a McDonald’s drive-through to order burgers and it looked like there were people eating inside, and clean bathrooms. But just when I reached the entrance to go inside, a worker had put up a sign saying that they were closing their lobby. So, we found a nearby gas station, and the restrooms were fine, and the gas was cheap. My medication for my schizoaffective disorder makes me very thirsty so I drink a lot, and I have to go to the bathroom a lot.
There was also the issue of eating out. Most restaurants weren’t providing indoor or outdoor dining, so we got take-out. This included my favorite restaurant up north--and I especially wanted to get food from there because they were donating part of the cost of every meal to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
One restaurant we love was offering indoor dining, and we were excited to go eat inside a restaurant--something neither of us had done in months. But when we got there, it just didn’t look safe. The restaurant had tried to space out the tables, but once people pulled their chairs back and sat in them, they were only about three feet or less from the people at the other tables. We asked to get our food to go and sat on the outdoor patio watching the sunset to wait. We didn’t mind getting carry-out--we were happy to eat in our charming little cabin.
We Still Enjoyed Our Trip, Pandemic, Schizoaffective Disorder, and All
A highlight of our trip, for me, was a hike we took in Newport Beach State Park. There were so few people on the trail and everyone practiced social distancing. The hike was beautiful on a gorgeous sunny day in June. If we had gone in May, like we usually do, I don’t think the trees and flowers would have been in bloom the way they were. The reason we went later than usual was because of the quarantine rules in place in Illinois and Wisconsin as a result of the pandemic. At any rate, I’ve heard that being out in nature is good for your mental health, and the hike did seem to help my schizoaffective anxiety.
We did go to my favorite store where we vacation--a rock and gem shop. It’s a big spacious store and everyone wore masks, so we felt safe there. My mom got me a black tourmaline pendant, and other crystals to place around my apartment. I enjoy picking them up and holding them, and some I even carry with me in my pocket.
Two years ago, I believe it was, on this mother-daughter trip up north, I started crying the night before we left to go home because I didn’t want to go back to my day-to-day life with schizoaffective disorder and anxiety. But I didn’t do it this year, and I’m happy about that. I valued the time we’d had.
So, even with schizoaffective disorder and a pandemic, I still managed to have a good time on vacation. And we’re going back with my dad, my husband Tom, my brothers, and the family of one of my brothers in August, so I feel lucky to have that to look forward to.
Caudy, E. (2020, July 2). Vacationing with Schizoaffective Disorder During a Pandemic, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 15 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2020/7/vacationing-with-schizoaffective-disorder-during-a-pandemic
Author: Elizabeth Caudy
Thank you for sharing your experience. It gives me hope that I can one day travel. I love your posts, thank you for you brave and honest insight,
Dear Brittany, Thank you so much for that lovely comment! I'm so, so glad the post gave you hope. Comments like yours make me really feel like I'm making a difference. Take Care, Elizabeth