Have you ever felt like you are running in different directions, or your life is not in your control? I experienced it. There are several things that I have to do regularly. But when I cannot manage them, I always feel extremely overwhelmed and stressed. Obviously, this is not normal. I noticed this problem a few days ago when I was out to spend some good and fun time. For this reason, I had to neglect all of my house chores and duties of that day. But when I came home, I regretted spending this much time. I thought I have done something wrong, and leaving my duties was not a good idea.
Such feelings are not healthy at all. At that point, I decided to make some decisions to deal with it. Everyone tries to become the best version of themselves in their life. I think it becomes more complicated and challenging when you are dealing with chronic conditions like lung problems. The would-a, could-a, or should-a can bring any person down. So, it is time to start taking care of our minds and hearts and simplify our lives. Here is how you can do that.
It is a fact that patients with lung problems don’t feel the same regularly. They find it hard to breathe, even incase of the slightest changes in weather conditions. There are other triggers that also become the factors to change their breathing patterns. If you get late for an appointment, walk slowly. Or if you have to cancel a friend's gathering, forgive yourself. Moreover, forgive yourself if you can’t cook dinner tonight or do laundry. Forgiving yourself and always moving forward will help you to survive with a chronic lung problem.
Avoid Uncomfortable Clothes
Yes, it’s true we all want to look tremendous, but we can’t let ourselves suffer only to look beautiful. You need to avoid wearing anything above your hips to stop your clothes from affecting your breathing. My several male patients have adopted suspenders instead of using belts. This is how they keep their pants up without making the belt too tight. Additionally, you can also opt for athletic wear. They are incredibly comfortable and stretchy and good alternative to trousers and jeans because of their elastic waistbands. On the other hand, women can feel extremely uncomfortable because of tight bra straps. For this, you can bring a supportive camisole top or stretchy sports bra. Thus, avoid every type of clothing that can produce heaviness on your shoulders. This is because many people with lung problems use their shoulders as accessory muscles while breathing.
Make Sure to Rest
People with lung conditions need to rest to get the energy to spend the entire day. No, that doesn’t mean you need to sleep all day. All you need to do is to lay down and close your eyes to relax your mind and body for at least 45 minutes. It is a great way to recharge yourself. This will give your body and mind more fuel to prepare dinner, wash the dishes, do the laundry, and other chores. Not to mention, you get enough energy to take your kids out and hang out with your spouse. Don’t forget to switch off your mobile and choose a silent and calm place to relax so that you don’t get disturbed because of someone.
Just Slow Down
One of my favorite patients who are in pulmonary rehab reminds me of how important it is to slow down. She takes out time to rest. Then take some time and say “hi” to others. After that, she takes time to do exercise to achieve her fitness goals, and rest whenever she needs a break. On the other hand, my other patients are always ready to jump into action. They want to hurry up and complete the task before experiencing breathlessness. Little do they know that it is their action that makes them out of breath. This is why you need to take time to accomplish your task like carrying the groceries in the store, walking from your car to the restaurant, or exercising. You will be able to breathe with ease and comfort. It will also reduce the level of anxiety and stress that most patients link with breathlessness. Moreover, I also want to ask you to slow down and acknowledge and absorb the good that life is offering you. Stop by the garden and smell the roses. Talk to people and build a positive conversation with them.
Negative thoughts are your real enemy. Don’t let them defeat you more than your disease. Try to practice thinking positively. It will help you increase your confidence that you can face the challenges in your life with resilience. Interact with people who are also trying to deal with life's difficulties and challenges with positivity. Keep in contact with people you love through text, email, or calls. This will help you get support from your friends and family. You can also read motivational books, write lists of gratitude, and watch mind relaxing movies and television shows. You will see how these little changes will positively impact your life and health.
Elizabeth Moffett, RRT, AE-C
You can also learn more about health and nutrition by joining our group Lung, COPD and Health Examiner.
A great method of easing COPD, lung symptoms, and mucus build-up is by going through our Mullein Lung Detox Programme.