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Are you on vacation and everything is going wrong? Are you a woman with autoimmune disease (like me) and your very health depends on reducing stress? Have no fear. This easy to follow guide will give you strategies and tips for keeping calm and turning this mess into a win for you and others.

Essentials For Keeping Calm For Autoimmune Health.

If you have chronic illness, you understand the importance of keeping calm for autoimmune health. You know it’s crucial to keep stress low when dealing with autoimmune diseases, as stress can make symptoms worse. There are lots of ways to do this with travel.

For example, maybe taking a quick road trip instead of a long flight. Or maybe it’s preparing yourself for the airport. Or for truly adventurous, maybe it’s researching and taking a camper van road trip. For people like you and I, managing these conditions and staying calm is essential, especially when plans unexpectedly change, like a disrupted vacation.

Being calm is not just a way to cope but a vital part of taking care of yourself. Stress can make symptoms worse and cause more inflammation, which can be tough for autoimmune sufferers. Otherwise, your physical health can trigger mental health problems.

When a vacation doesn’t go as planned, staying calm is powerful. It helps you think better, solve problems, and reduces the chances of making your health worse. Being flexible and focusing on the moment can make the experience more positive. Read on for strategies to solve a similar situation, and day trip ideas for some fun and easy destinations in Florida!

Empowerment From Within

One thing I love about being a travel blogger is sharing my experiences when trips don’t go exactly as planned. And who are we kidding that happens often. But here is a secret: taking that derailed train and turning it into something wonderful and unforgettable is possible. For example, how can you forget the terrible parts of a ruined vacation? You can’t. However, instead of feeling frustrated, turn it into a win! That’s the wonderful part…your resilience! When friends and family ask about the catastrophe, you can quickly use it as evidence of your strength and creativity. And that is the whole point traveling – whether solo or not.

Here is my story of a time when my vacation was suddenly “ruined”. It is set in Volusia County, Florida.

Part 1: St. Augustine and Hurricane Nicole

keeping calm for autoimmune health
St. Augustine – water flooding from hurricane

My intended destination plans delivered me to St. Augustine, Florida. The glorious itinerary of my time in the oldest city in the U.S. included visiting historical museums, Spanish Churches, and galleries. However, a late season hurricane unexpectedly made landfall directly above my lodging. Thankfully, I was safe. However, recouping my time in Florida meant quick and creative thinking. Keeping an open mind and positive attitude is key for times when travel turns stressful. I am pleased to share two gems I discovered as a result of turning unforeseen circumstances into a victory. 

Tucked away at 37 Dirksen Drive, DeBary, Gemini Springs Park offers a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and outdoor lovers. This lovely park combines natural beauty, recreation, and a calming atmosphere, making it a great spot for those seeking relaxation and healing in nature.

Tranquil emerald springs are hands down the only reason I went to this park. Being a nature enthusiast, I googled “parks near me” and the gorgeous picture Gemini Springs popped up. 

The Springs

keeping calm for autoimmune health

Gemini Springs tap into the ancient waters of the Floridan aquifer. These provide a glimpse into the Earth’s past. The crystal-clear waters that flow to the surface have journeyed through layers of rock and time, emerging as a pristine source of refreshment. Approximately 6.5 million gallons of sparkling fresh water bubble up from the two springs each day! 

 These ancient limestone channels breach the surface to create the blend of green hues. Indigenous people lived along the spring run and considered the land there sacred. Furthermore, ceremonies and rituals were performed on the land, and you can read further on the topic on the educational displays at the site.

keeping calm for autoimmune health

Fresh water is so vital to life, especially as supplies diminish worldwide. Sources such as at Gemini Springs are  a reminder of the deep dependence we have on our planet.  Embrace this chance to savor the pure essence of Florida’s aquifer-fed springs, the primary source of fresh groundwater and used by more than 11 million Floridians.Come for the  spellbinding color. Stay for the radiant surroundings that provide a fascinating backdrop to your day. 

The Park

Gemini Springs Park is centered around these two clear freshwater springs. Majestic oak trees draped with Spanish moss line the walking trails. These huge trees dwarf the path and swallow you up in their elegance. The serene scene is an invitation to relax and appreciate Florida’s wilderness.

Gemini Springs Park offers various activities for visitors of all ages. Walking and bike riding can be enjoyed on the 3/4 mile Nature Trail. In addition, there is a bike trail providing a  1 mile loop and a bridge loop offering another 1/4 mile.

All trails wind through the park and give you a chance to explore the natural surroundings and spot wildlife. Birdwatching, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking are also available. What better way to experience these rich waters than paddling up close through the calm waters?

Gemini Springs Park is not only a recreational area but also a sanctuary for local wildlife. Turtles sunbathe on the banks, and otters play in the springs. Keep an eye out for deer, raccoons, and various bird species as you explore.

Final Note

The park has excellent facilities for picnics and family gatherings. Shaded picnic areas with tables and grills are perfect for a leisurely outdoor meal. If you’re interested in the environment and local ecology, the park offers educational programs and informative signs that explain the unique ecosystems found here.

Gemini Springs Park is a natural retreat in Florida that blends serenity with outdoor activities. Whether you seek a quiet escape to reconnect with nature or a place for fun, this park has it all. With its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife, it’s a place where you can relax, learn, and create lasting memories in Florida’s beautiful outdoors.

After you have experienced the heavenly environment of Gemini Springs, why not switch it up to the other worldly and fun side of spirituality?

Introducing Cassadaga Psychic Park. Just a 20 minute drive from Gemini Springs lies a unique and enchanting destination. It beckons all psychic-curious individuals. Whether you are a traveler seeking spiritual enlightenment or you scoff at the paranormal, spending time here will fill your metaphorical metaphysical cup.

The People

Learn about the town’s fascinating history, from its spiritualist beginnings to its modern-day charm in the small book room. Photo albums for public viewing display orbs caught on camera and other odd occurrences recorded on the property.

The spiritual community is a sanctuary for those who reside and make their living here. There are a wide range of services offered. Though I did not purchase a reading from the gifted psychics and mediums there, I did seriously consider it. I personally know friends who did, and most were satisfied customers. Even if you don’t partake in the readings, there are other holistic offerings to pass the time.

The Land

Fairy Garden Cassadaga Florida
Just one of the 7 meditation gardens in the park

The tranquil atmosphere alone invites visitors to step into a world where the spiritual and mystical converge. Even the skeptics come for a peek at this enigmatic place and its inhabitants. There are 7 parks and meditation gardens scattered throughout the community. 

If you’re simply looking for a magical or unusual way to spend the day Cassadaga Psychic Park delivers. The property boasts a tranquil backdrop of ancient oak trees dressed in Spanish moss, setting the stage for an original and weird adventure.

 The park hosts workshops and events that teach you how to communicate with your inner Yoda or perhaps just your inner yogi. There are many meditation spots to choose from. I found all of them provided peaceful respite from potential stress that broken travel plans involve.

author at Cassadaga Florida

 Don’t forget to ask about the vortex on the land, the famous one by the lake. I went to the very spot (I think?) and I did feel positive and uplifting energy. Having spent a week in Sedona, I can attest to the effects of an energy vortex.

author at Cassadaga Florida
This is the spot of the vortex…is that wind from the recent hurricane or the vortex energy gusting my poncho?

The Facilities

Shopping on the premises offers a display of enchanting gifts such as crystals, books, and other mystical trinkets. I bought incense and a copper pendulum. There is something for everyone. The staff are not only helpful and friendly, but also intriguing. In our conversation, I got a glimpse into the curious phenomenon of spiritual community daily life.  

Church services, Fall Festivals, Seminars, and additional pamphlets and literature are available in the Camp Book Store. There is free parking, free admission, and restrooms on site.

Cassadaga Psychic Park welcomes everyone, from the cosmic curiosities to the skeptics-turned-seekers. While visiting Cassadaga, you’re in for an otherworldly adventure that’s part comedy, part enlightenment, and all fun. So, dust off your magic broom and enjoy this soul-searching escapade that’s truly unique.

Vacation Suddenly Ruined?

Now it’s your turn. Are you googling how to fix a ruined vacation and looking for ideas? Great! Read below for for excellent tried and true advice on how to make your situation a mega win. Here are 10 things you can do to salvage your trip and still have a great time:

  1. Grieve Your Loss, Then Cultivate Positivity:

The disappointment around what you lost is real. Investing time, energy, and emotion into an outcome that falls apart is sad. Grieve what you lost, then choose a positive attitude. Acknowledging the hurt will release it. Understanding that moving on is a choice will empower you. It’s only after you give yourself the gift of expressing and releasing the pain that you can let it go. Journaling helps a lot. Once that’s complete, then lesson of seeing the unexpected leading to memorable adventures becomes your reality.

How to do that? Sit with the disappointment. Make space for everything you lost. Don’t rehash what went wrong to friends and family and social media. That will just keep you stuck. Focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t. Soon you may have ideas and intuitive steps to reorganize your time

Research and explore nearby places of interest that you didn’t originally plan to visit. You might discover hidden gems (like crystal clear springs and the imaginative kooky). Whatever is nearby, use it as an opportunity to redefine the trip and therefore redefine you! What do you have to lose except some stress and negative emotions? I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m saying it’s worth it. The negative feelings will pass, especially if you give your brain something new and unexpected to focus on….Your Happiness!

Delight your taste buds by trying the local cuisine. Visit local restaurants and savor regional dishes. Turn your attention to what lies before you, not what was ‘supposed’ to be. Regional food is delightful and can even be educational.

Check out museums, art galleries, or historical sites in the area. They can provide valuable insights into the local culture and history. Learning something new programs the “beginner brain”, and focuses attention on curiosity and growth. These neural pathways tend to lead to positive emotional feedback.

Take advantage of your time off to relax. Enjoy a spa day, lounge by the pool, or have a beach day. Even deep breathing can begin the renewal process. If you have wifi and want to really dive deep into your self-care, do an online therapy session.

Strike up conversations with locals. They often have great recommendations and can share unique insights about the area. Even if it doesn’t lead to a destination, it will give you space from your own situation and shift your perspective.

7. Read and Reflect:

Use this time to catch up on reading or start a travel journal. Document your experiences and feelings. You may be surprised what you uncover when you go within! Perhaps this mishap was all part of a Universal Plan for your personal healing, growth, and destiny.

If you’re in a natural setting, consider hiking, biking, or taking scenic walks. Nature can be incredibly rejuvenating. In addition, it is usually free!

Sign up for a local class or workshop. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, or art, acquiring a new skill can be rewarding. Maybe you’ll meet a new lifelong friend or even romantic partner.

Start planning your next trip. Research destinations, create itineraries, and get excited about your future adventures. Refusing to allow outside circumstances to determine your happiness is a powerful step in self efficacy and self love. Making the firm decision that your vacation is always ultimately up to you is the secret key to successful travel. Implementing these suggestions when travel turns terrible guarantees you are one step closer to becoming your own best friend. hurricanes and all.

Recovered, Not Ruined

Remember, a ruined vacation doesn’t have to mean a wasted one. Embrace the moment and accept everything EXACTLY AS IT IS, NOT HOW YOU THINK IT SHOULD BE. Don’t forget…YOU are more important than a trip.

Final Thoughts On Keeping Calm For Autoimmune Health

Keeping your stress low as a strategy to treat autoimmune diseases means staying calm and equals good health. Since stress can worsen symptoms and cause more inflammation, compromised physical health will negatively affect mental and emotional health. By using coping skills to stay calm, you’re treating body, mind and soul. For more tips and support for traveling with autoimmune disease, read here.

You just might find that some of your most cherished memories were made during these unplanned adventures. Like ancient aquifers, fairy gardens, and a famous energy vortex.

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