SPARKLE

How To Reduce Stress

When I had gotten my Emphysema under control, my doctor sent me to pulmonary rehabilitation. Rehab was actually learning how to handle my disease, nutrition, exercise and how to handle everyday things. It seems having a serious chronic disease can affect your life in many ways. Some of them were quite surprising to me. One of those is stress and anxiety. While just having the disease can causes stress, your medications and general life style can play a part. So what to do? SPARKLE!🎇

S- SLEEP WELL

🛏Make your bed a place for sleeping, reading and intimacy. Once you lay down and your head hits that pillow, it should be time for relaxing and not thinking. SO, bedtime is not for watching TV, checking social media, planning you next day, arguing with the spouse (or anyone) checking your email, paying bills online or any other activity that does not promote relaxation. I know it is hard not to be on the phone, but I have a rule that once I turn out my light I n longer will be on phone and have it turned to do not disturb. I do not have a TV in my room.

P – PLAN EVERY DAY

Create a To-Do list in the morning (not at night in bed!). I use a Dot Journal, but scraps of paper will do. My list gives me a roadmap of my day. I know what needs to be done and it gives me a reminder throughout the day. Plus, I get to be all proud of my self when I check off items.

A – ANTICIPATE LESS

Learn to recognize the false assumptions you make. They lead to anxiety. Will things actually turn out to be as bad as you think? Probably not. When you look to the future , visualize success rather than failure. I had a hard time doing this knowing how my disease progresses and its not pretty. I mean, why be Pollyanna about it , reality sucks, etc. Finally I figured out that yes, my disease may or may not progress and it isn’t going to be super fun. That is reality, yet why get all anxious over it? So I visualize a future where my disease does not progress, where I have friends and am successful. I mean, the future is going to happen, so why not visualize the good instead of the bad?

R-RELAX

OK for reals, relax. Breath deep when you are stressed. I mean really breath when you are stressed. focus on your breathing, breath in, use Pursed Lip Breathing . Go for a walk. The most important thing I do is create time for mediation. Remember the list? Mediation is on there. I take 10 minutes and just be quiet trying to erase the thoughts from my head. However you meditate , just do it.

K-KEEP ANGER UNDER CONTROL

😠Remember other people are just trying to do their best just like you. Like me other people fail at being perfect. Be empathetic and forgive others when they make mistakes. Try to give constructive feedback rather than destructive criticism.

L-LAUGH

Yep Laugh at the curve balls life throws you. Share jokes and laugh at others jokes. Use positive affirmations to keep yourself on track. Remember your affirmations should use the 4 Ps: Personal, Positive, Passionate and Present. “I am a confident and successful person who takes time to listen to others and who can laugh at my mistakes”. 🙂

E-EAT WELL AND EXERCISE

Your body is machine that needs to be well tuned to manage the stresses of life and your disease. You can keep it tuned up by eating right and exercising. Do not eat snacks that come in a package. try to avoid anything that comes wrapper or plastic bag. fruit or veggies or, in my case, homemade snacks made with fresh ingredients.. Eat more veggies. Reduce caffeine and drink more water. Caffeine is a stimulant and can exacerbate physical symptoms of stress. 🥗
Exercise is important. Not really talking about lifting weights or going to the gym, more talking about moving your body. I have emphysema. I try to walk 30 minutes twice a day every day. Even in a wheelchair it is possible to exercise. DO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE MAKING ANY NUTRITIONAL OR EXERCISE CHANGES!

Having stress in your life does not help with your disease. Learning how to reduce the stress you can in your life can help you live a better more fulfilling life despite your disease. Remember to just SPARKLE!🎆

MY DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or therapist. I can only share my experiences and hope while living with emphysema. Please check with your Doctor before making changes in your treatment.