Contributed by Bob Rawlins, consultant to CAIRE Inc.~
Every year seems to sneak up so quickly, doesn’t it? Christmas is so anticipated and then it’s gone. I swear, it seems like as I age the years go by so quickly. Don’t you think?
So, let me ask a question, how many of us write down our new year’s resolutions and goals, and revisit them throughout the year to see how we are doing? Or, if you are like many who might review after Christmas (if you remember to do so), or even remember your new year’s resolutions from last year? Am I right?
Making too many resolutions could be part of the challenge. Maybe we should learn to pick no more than three and stay focused on accomplishing them. These resolutions also must be attainable. Saying I’ll become a millionaire in 2023 sounds great, but unless you already have the wheels in motion for that and have been working hard at it for some time, it might not be realistic and of course you won’t take it seriously.
It’s common for those of us on a lung disease journey to resolve for better health. But how?
Be better involved with your team of doctors and nurses, and gain a better understanding of the path you are taking. Know your meds, supplements, and comprehend them. What supplements are helping you to feel better?
Are you going to exercise more, a health builder for sure, and do it in a way in which your team and you feel comfortable. You should push yourself, but with your clinician’s guidelines in mind so as not to do more harm than good.
What if we reviewed the things that we can control more directly. Then, you involve the help you need to achieve that resolution.
Also, how about stop being so hard on yourself, and take a moment to admire yourself in a mirror once a month at least. It’s not just about how you look, but how you feel.
Make sure you also realize that we are human, change takes time. Stop beating ourselves up and make the best out of what we have. The famous saying, the grass is always greener elsewhere, nah. Understand if there are setbacks and there are many on the journey of life, it’s ok. Learn from them and get stronger for it.
We must be diligent with our eating habits on this journey, totally understand. Find those foods you love and eat them. But remember, we can’t eat sweets and fast food all day. Choosing to find balance and enjoy everything in moderation is a great thing and an excellent positive mind enhancer.
Finally, do things that bring you and others joy. I volunteer, write, talk and participate in support groups. Carve out precious time with your family. I love it, and it helps me and others. It is important not turn all these things into a chore. You do need to work on yourself, and value your health, but don’t let it consume all your time.
A well-known acronym, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) a perfect way to approach your New Year’s plans and this situation. I believe it works. Don’t overwhelm yourself. That only creates stress.
Also, what if we tried to compromise more with people. Being right isn’t the need, solving things together is. We become too self-centered and the stress to always be right is so damaging.
Doing an act of kindness every day is simple and so self-fulfilling.
Learn something new every day, what a mental strength builder. There are so many ways to learn new things and share ideas. Being interested in a friend’s hobby, a friend’s business, and a piece of history.
Volunteer at least once a year. You can do it from home via an online support group or other digital meeting. Talking to others going through a similar journey really is helpful to remind people they are not alone. Community organizations are always looking for help and most of it is done in the comfort of your own home. Combine this with the occasional in-person event or meeting, you will have the perfect balance of activity.
My friends, we must continue to pursue our resolutions and goals all the time. It keeps us strong both mentally and physically. Make them fun, and make sure to celebrate as you accomplish them, very important. Especially good if you celebrate with others.
I hope you all have a blessed 2023. Keep the positive “’tude,” always.
Love you all,
Bob Rawlins, 65, of Medina, Ohio, is a double lung transplant recipient and a patient advocate for those who suffer from respiratory diseases and have been prescribed supplemental oxygen therapy. He is husband to Terese and father to their 18-year-old triplets. He also has two grown twin sons and four grandchildren. He serves as a hospital volunteer, band dad and chaperone, and marketing guru.
If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE by visiting www.caireinc.com/patients or by calling 1-800-482-2473 to talk to an oxygen advisor.
The contents of this blog post are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice. When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay