It is two weeks into the new year and if you haven't fallen off of the New Year's resolution bandwagon, we commend you! For those of you who have fallen victim to the resolution season and have somewhat given up on your resolution, there is no better time than now to get back in the groove. It doesn't matter if you made the resolution to lose 50 pounds or if you wanted to quit smoking, the fact of the matter is; it's never too late to keep trying. Your New Year's resolution should be a goal or lifestyle change that will benefit you in the long run.
While putting in the work to achieve your goal can be hard and sometimes discouraging, reaching your goal or successfully changing your lifestyle for the better rewards you more than you could imagine. Take a look at some of the New Year's resolutions below for tips and hints on how to stay on track or get back on track.
As an oxygen patient, you should know that staying physically active plays a huge role in staying healthy. Exercising more, losing weight, and getting in better shape lead the way for New Year's resolutions. Unfortunately, they are also the easiest ones to break. Depending on how much exercise your doctor has cleared you for, there are many ways to make this New Year's resolution easier to accomplish. For starters, if you have been to pulmonary rehabilitation, you know that you don't always need to head to the gym to get your workout. In most cases you may be able to complete your workout from home. Here is a great example of a workout for COPD patients that can be completed in the comfort of your own home. Stretching and walking are also great exercises for oxygen patients. Before you make any drastic changes in your workout schedule, remember to speak with your doctor about approved exercises and work loads.
Another popular New Year's resolution is quitting smoking. Regardless of when you decide to quit smoking, it is one of the hardest habits to kick and that is something you should be prepared for. The habitual and addictive nature of smoking is what makes quitting so hard. Quitting cold turkey is an option, but according to WebMD, 95% of people who try to stop smoking without therapy or medication end up relapsing. There are many aides that can help you kick the habit like nicotine patches, nicotine gum, and e-cigarettes that may be exactly what you needed to help kick the habit. Along with a nicotine replacement, you should try to avoid smoking triggers. Alcohol is a common trigger for smoking. If you know you like to smoke when you drink, avoid drinking until you quit smoking completely. Another incentive to quit smoking is to save the money you would spend on cigarettes and reward yourself with something fun.
As an oxygen patient, you know how important it can be to manage your stress. Being stressed while dealing with a chronic respiratory disease can spell disaster. Stress can cause acute exacerbations of COPD, weaken your immune system, and cause anxiety. Everybody handles stress differently, and what may work for some might not work for others. Helpguide.org lists their top 5 stress management strategies as:
- Avoid unnecessary stress.
- Alter the situation that causes you to be stressed.
- Adapt to the stressor.
- Accept things you can't change.
- Make time for fun and relaxation.
Your New Year's resolution is your New Year's resolution. If you feel like your resolution is going to make your life better, improve your health, or make you feel a sense of accomplishment then why stop? Even if you stopped, it is never too late to make changes in your life. Don't let small bouts of adversity prevent you from accomplishing your resolution. If you have any tips for fellow patients and readers, feel free to comment below!