COPD and Energy Conservation
There are times the symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), such as being short of breath, take their toll and we just need to stop. The trap is that we need to keep as active as possible to help relieve those same symptoms. So how can we find the right balance to live as comfortably as possible?
Identify the Stress
Stress can come in many forms — the two main ones are physical and mental stress. When we talk about COPD and energy conservation, we need to identify the things in our life that suck away our energy. Of course, it’s often easier said than done to remove these stresses from our lives.
Physical stress can be resolved simply by resting and recuperating. Mental stress is not so easy.
Previously, I’ve mentioned the use of a support network to help you out when life becomes overwhelming. Resolving the physical stress can be dealt with by calling on those close to you to lend a hand so you can recover.
If you have people willing to help, develop a weekly roster where those difficult tasks can be assigned to a family member or friend.
Mental stress comes in all forms and can be very difficult to control. This type of stress can often be responsible for a COPD patient’s health to spiral out of control.
Personally, I’m an advocate of seeking professional help from a counselor. Mental health professionals can give you the tools needed to manage stress so it doesn’t take over your life.
Being able to keep physical and mental stress at bay will certainly help in terms of conserving energy and achieving a better quality of life.
Creating a COPD Friendly Home
How many of you have looked around your home to identify what changes can be made to make your life easier? Enlist the help of a friend and spend some time doing an assessment of your home. Having an independent eye to help you identify areas that can be improved may bring some welcome ideas.
Some of the areas to look at could include:
- Accesses to your home and whether it can be made easier
- Hand rails on areas such as steps, bathrooms, toilets, and other areas
- Remote controls for high-use appliances such as fans and other cooling or heating systems.
- Phone access in areas of your home where you rest
- Exhaust fans in bathrooms to remove steam and to keep areas mold free
- Shelving that is easily accessible both in height and location
On the outside of your home it’s a good idea to check for any plants that may cause irritation to you which may result in an exacerbation. Don’t forget the garage door if you have one. Remote control garage doors can be especially beneficial for conserving energy, not to mention keeping you dry on those rainy days.
Having outside areas organized in a way that makes life easier for you will encourage you to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors.
Using these suggestions can be a good start to make your home more COPD friendly.
Next page: Read about managing COPD in the work place.