Make This YOUR Year to be Your Best You
Happy New Year everyone! Here is hoping happiness and joy were found throughout your holiday season. Hopefully you were able to share with others (our greatest source of joy) and serve someone in some capacity.
As the new year begins it is customary to evaluate where we are and what we can do to improve. So what do you say? Shall we get to it?
Chronic disease can definitely take its toll on those who suffer from it and regardless of which chronic disease you have there are things the sufferers have in common with each other. Which New Years Resolutions will best fit you? Let’s start with a self-evaluation.
There are a few basics we tend to be drawn to when establishing New Years Resolutions. They are popular starting points for many people and for good reason; the basis for those being that self improvement is always necessary and beneficial. Regardless of where we are and what progress we have made the previous year – THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. These are a few of my personal favorites.
– eating habits
– exercise (aka movement)
– positive self talk
Eating habits – I don’t know about anyone else but I know that I can always use improvement when it comes to eating habits. I generally do well but every once in a while – far too often – I slip up and my diet for the day is shot. I could even say my diet for the past month has been shot lately! I jumped back on the wagon today, though. A fresh start is in order, and it feels great to be back at it. When you have COPD your diet is very important. What improvements can you make to your daily intake? Can you remove half of you daily sugar intake? How about removing some carbonation? Even better, how about increasing your veggie intake?
Now, how about exercise? Set your goals for incremental increase and start slow enough you can feel the benefits of exercise but not push yourself so hard it actually sets you back when you are recovering. A good rule of thumb I always use tell my patients to remember is to keep themselves at around a level 6-7 for exertion. At this point you should be able to breathe, talk if you HAVE to (but not want to), and tolerate your movement at a pace in which your heart rate is at around 70% of your max. I think a good goal to work toward is one mile each day. This doesn’t mean you have to wake up tomorrow and walk a mile before breakfast. This means you count your steps and throughout the day add them up to equal a mile. What can you do to help yourself get there?
– get up and walk around your house during commercials
– stand in place, holding on to something for stabilization if you need to, and march for three minutes at a time.
– measure a distance in your home or around your home (with good weather you can do this outside, as well) and walk that measured space multiple times each day to help you calculate distance.
– count your steps; it take approximately 2000 steps in one mile. They add up faster than you think!
– it’s also important to remember to set incremental goals for increase. Do a little at a time. You’ll find much more success in taking small steps and increasing as you go.
Sleep is also vital to your success. Rest, rejuvenate, and revive every night. Take tests during the day – there’s nothing wrong with that! Listen to your body and rest when it asks you to. You’ll find you have much more success when you rejuvenate your body with rest.
Meditation is one I am going to focus on this year. Studies show that taking just a few short minutes each day to clear your mind and focus on yourself has measurable benefits to both your physical, mental, and emotional well being. (I will be posting a guided meditation soon, be sure to watch for it!) For starters just find a comfortable position, rest your body focusing on allowing the tenseness in your muscles to leave, close your eyes, and breathe. Listen to the air flow into and out of your lungs. Big inhale through your nose, exhale like your blowing out some candles. Clear your mind, and repeat. Let’s explore and learn this together!
Positive self talk. Do you completely understand the drastic effect this has on your physical well being and how badly negative emotions can have on you? Focus on the positive. Eliminate the negative, (Meditation can also help with this) and tel your self each and every day that you are those things you want to be. Repeat to yourself things like:
– I am strong
– I am healthy
– I am happy
– I am calm
– I can do hard things
– I can handle myself well
– I am successful
– I am good
Why don’t you take a few moments and ponder which areas you feel you could grow and progress in. Write them down – a goal that isn’t written down isn’t really a goal – and see to work on a PLAN to achieve those goals. You will find The COPD Solutions Goal Planning Worksheet in next weeks blog post. Start thinking now so you are ready to fill it out! Let’s achieve together! We should love to hear about your goals AND your progress! Please comment, email, share with us your stories.