3 ways to stay connected when your health isn’t at its best

by | Jun 22, 2023 | Health and Wellness

Life is richer when shared with people you care about and whose company you enjoy, whether it’s attending a birthday party or going for a leisurely stroll together.

Many of us living with chronic conditions – such as arthritis, diabetes or a lung condition like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – may struggle with these moments because of worries about losing independence, the ability to participate in activities or feeling socially isolated as our condition progresses.

For when times feel tough, here are some reminders to help you get through:

Keep communication open
Speaking openly can lift a weight off your shoulders, even if it’s uncomfortable at first. Be honest about your symptoms with trusted family, friends and health-care providers, especially if they are new or worsening. Beyond just discussing your symptoms, also talk about what fun things you and your network can do together now, and what you hope to do together in the future.

Revisit how you manage your condition
While there is no silver bullet when it comes to managing a chronic health condition, there may be things you and your health-care providers can do to make your life a bit easier. As your situation changes, re-evaluate what’s working, what’s not and make any adjustments based on your doctor’s advice.

When it comes to managing a condition such as COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, a combination of physical activity, respiratory rehab programs, appropriate medications and avoiding irritants and allergens can all help maintain independence as well as reduce flare-ups and hospitalizations.

Reconnect with and grow your support system
Your doctor, family and close friends don’t have to be your only source of support. Seek out groups online or via your health-care team to find people you can relate with who have the same condition.

Finding the right supports and management strategies, with help from your family, friends and health-care team, can make a major difference in your ability to maintain independence and continue enjoying activities you love.

You can find more information about COPD management at lunghealth.ca/copd

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