Transitus (Transition Syndrome) . . .

(The following was written in jest . . . though only partially)

Definition

Transitus (trān-sī-tus), also known as Transition Syndrome, is a very common ailment that affects hundreds of travelers around the world. It can occur at any time in life, regardless of age, gender, or nationality.

The word “transitus” is Latin, meaning “Transition”. It is typically caused by a drastic change of location, time zone, culture, and climate. It is also very often associated with separation anxiety or the leaving of a familiar lifestyle and/or loved ones.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms may include any or all of the following . . .

  • sudden change in sleeping habits
  • exhaustion / fatigue
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • loss of appetite (or craving foods that are not available locally)
  • irritability
  • mood-swings (or wildly turbulent emotions)
  • frequently tearful eyes
  • foggy brain
  • unusual aches and pains
  • insomnia (inability to sleep at night)
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • developing an obsession regarding cleanliness
  • second guessing or doubting your decisions
  • feeling stressed or overwhelmed
  • idealizing your home culture
  • feeling a little lost, insecure, confused, or lonely
  • cravings for familiar, comfort foods

 

In Children

In addition to the above symptoms, children may also experience . . .

  • hyper-activity
  • increased naughtiness
  • an obsession with wanting to be held
  • increased need for tender loving care
  • greater dependency on comfort items
  • shorter attention spans
  • impromptu play times between 1-4am

 

Prevention

The only known method of prevention is to avoid traveling at all costs.

 

Treatment

  • understanding the cause of your symptoms can help a lot in managing them
  • be intentional about planning fun and enjoyable activities amidst the travels
  • drink lots of (filtered) water
  • establish a new (but consistent) routine
  • try to keep bedtime routines as familiar as possible, using familiar “comfort items” (favorite music, personal pillow or blanket, stuffed animal or doll, etc) to create familiar and comforting surroundings
  • don’t be afraid to take frequent showers and do a little “pampering”
  • don’t over analyse or make life-changing decisions while suffering from transitus.
  • keep your schedule light the first few days and just spend a lot of quality time with your spouse and kids
  • take lots of pictures and really take in the beauty around you and enjoy the adventure

 

How to Support Someone Suffering from Transitus

  • understand that their changes in routine or behavior are temporary and will resolve themselves in a matter of time
  • be ready with lots and lots of grace, understanding, love, encouragement, and hugs
  • encourage a balance between necessary tasks associated with the journey and fun, distracting activities to encourage rest and refreshment
  • encourage them in keeping a familiar and regular routine
  • make sure they are getting plenty of nutritious foods and are keeping well hydrated
  • subtly remind them of the reason why they decided to make this journey in the first place and assure them that it will all be worth while in the end
  • if the person suffering from transitus is very close to you, bear in mind that you may also be experiencing symptoms of this condition, so re-read this information sheet and apply it to yourself

 

Other Helpful Resources

  • chocolate and ice cream both contain properties that comfort and sooth the symptoms of transitus
  • laughter is good medicine and should be given in large, frequent doses
  • use email, cell phones, Facebook, or other social media options as best you can to stay connected with loved ones
  • find an activity or hobby you enjoy and engage in it regularly

 

Encouragement

  • “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10)
  • “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)
  • “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  • “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)
  • “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)
  • “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
  • “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

 

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