The official blog of the Lung Institute.
A Countdown to Breathing Easier
Tonight, many of us will gather in front of the television to count the ball down to the New Year. At the stroke of midnight, we will be surrounded by cheers, professions of love, champagne toasts and delightful New Year’s Eve kisses. And while many people will be reflecting on the past year and reminiscing about the great times of 2014, the rest of us will be thinking about different ways we can make next year even better. Whether it is simply planning ahead or making a dramatic lifestyle modification, living with COPD doesn’t have to be so difficult. So tonight, when you start counting down from ten, remember these ten ways you can organize your life in the New Year and make life with COPD a little easier.
10 – An organized life requires some regular organization. Make sure everything you use regularly has a specific “home.” Constantly putting things in their place will prevent you from expending extra energy searching for your belongings. Imagine a morning where you can wake up and start your day without searching for your keys, your wallet or your glasses.
9 – Make a plan for grocery shopping! Try to shop at stores that offer complimentary scooters and shopping assistance; some stores will provide a worker to help you maneuver around the store and to retrieve hard-to-reach items.
8 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help! In many situations, shopping included, asking for help could make your trip easier. For example, reach out to others when it comes to loading your groceries into the car and seek help from friends or neighbors when you get home.
7 – Don’t hurry. If you plan your schedule ahead of time, then you won’t have to rush around. Feeling like you are running out of time increases your anxiety, which can lead to a COPD flare-up. Additionally, rushing about can use up unnecessary energy. If you allot time for breathing breaks and chances to sit down, every experience can be a little easier.
6 – Preparing your food doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By purchasing food in bulk and preparing multiple meals at one time, you can refrain from repeated trips to the grocery store and having to cook every meal separately. This not only saves time, but it saves energy. You can freeze future meals, so the rest of your week will be a little easier.
5 – Pay attention to the weather. Many people with COPD are very sensitive to colder weather and excessively hot and humid weather, so make sure to dress and plan accordingly. In the winter months, wear layers, so you are prepared for the blustery outside air, but can still feel comfortable after taking in the forced heat indoors. Air pollution can irritate lung disease symptoms, so skip going out the days with high air pollution, which can potentially exasperate someone’s lung disease.
4 – Purify the air in your home. By taking specific steps to make the air quality in your house better, you can breathe easier. Try to open your windows when the weather is nice to promote cross ventilation. Ditch the extra clutter in order to minimize dust collection. If you are dedicated to making breathing as easy as possible at home, consider installing an air filtration system.
3 – A clean home is a healthier home. By cleaning your home weekly, you can prevent excessive dust build-up, which can increase the frequency of COPD flare-ups. Cleaning should also include washing any linens, which can minimize the existence of any dust mites, thus improving your sleep quality. If these tasks prove to be too difficult to complete on your own, once again, ask for help!
2 – Optimize the layout of your house. When you moved into your home, you made a conscious decision to put each thing in a certain place, but that doesn’t mean you should keep your home organized the same way. By placing items you use frequently in a convenient location, you can make your life easier and decrease the amount of energy needed to complete daily tasks. One example is your kitchen; position toasters, blenders, coffeemakers and other small everyday appliances on countertops instead of in cabinets. Store your dishes, pans and pots in positions that make sense for you; many people have a favorite frying pan that they use day in and day out, so instead of tucking it under the over, store it on your stovetop once you’ve washed it. Set up your house to fit your needs! If that means making a sit-down food-prep station, do it. Your house should be designed to help you breathe easier.
1 – Have fun! A lot of people abandon all hope for having fun while living with COPD, but there isn’t a bigger mistake. While it is more difficult to be spontaneous, if you plan ahead, you can most definitely have a great time. Spend time with your family and friends! Make sure you bring a buffer of extra medication or oxygen in case of an extended stay as you never know if there will be issues with weather or transportation—or just because you are having a wonderful time!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The best way to organize your New Year to have a fabulous 2015 is to schedule a free consultation with the Lung Institute. Stem cell treatments at the Lung Institute could help you breathe easier and live better. If you are ready to have a terrific New Year that isn’t tied down because of COPD, contact us or call us at (800) 729-3065.