Gratefulness — Going Forward in 2021

Posted on January 12, 2021   |   
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This blog post was written by Katie Keating, RN, MS, patient advocate

Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices. -Robert Braathe, business trainer and author.

Gratefulness is so important, now more than ever. Let's use our 2020 vision and sense of gratitude to make 2021 the best year possible. This is a time to reset. Yes, we definitely have challenges with our respiratory issues and limitations; however, we can work on keeping on . . . in the best way we can.

We can seek the support we need from others who have been down the path before and continually learn from them.  BronchandNTM360social allows you to post publicly (or message other members privately) to get answers that may save you days, months, or years of difficulty or unnecessary suffering. We want to support and empower you to make the very best choices on your path to wellness in the days ahead.

We must see the silver lining of the current days and recognize that what we are going through is truly eye-opening. 

A few lessons learned — positive gifts received:

While we have been quarantined, we have had access to internet, zoom, and audio/visual devices. We are not living as they did in other times of great difficulty, such as world wars, without access to robust communication means.

We will continue to use telemedicine, unless in-person visits are necessary (we do acknowledge that unfortunately, not everyone has access to telemedicine).

We can recall the compassion and empathy expressed by friends and family members as they realized how challenging and lonely daily life can be in isolation, while living with a chronic illness. Many took their lifestyles for granted before the coronavirus and had never been homebound for any extended length of time.

People are more mindful of their own health and preventative measures to keep their immune systems in the best shape possible. Much information is being presented in the media every day about vitamin D and other supplements that boost a person’s immunity.

Most people are eating more nutritious meals at home since many are not going anywhere. Cooking skills have been sharpened with family members. While most of us do not have the energy to prepare three meals a day, we can now work out more efficient ways for healthier meal planning with family members.

Simplicity has become the new reality.

Many have found a renewed sense of faith — an anchor in the storm of life.

COVID-19 has taught us the value of community support.

We have all gotten a taste of just how differently we could do the things we thought we couldn’t do differently. I let my 19-year-old daughter cut my hair.  I pull it behind my ears so you do not notice the imperfections. I certainly was not taking the risk of going to the beauty salon.  I also allowed her to spray paint my hair, just for fun. It really doesn’t look that bad. :) Imperfection is a term that I have been using lately with family. It is ok to be imperfect.

What is your shift as you review your 2020?

Assess what has changed, any new feelings? What was triggered within you?

Do you have more clarity on what you like, dislike, who you desire to spend your time, energy, money with? Many of us deal with energy limitations due to bronchiectasis, infections. Our energy can be compared to money in the bank; this is definitely the time to reassess where we invest our energy. Consider what or who is no longer serving your best interests. What new passion could be explored with the time freed up?

What are you determined to do? What is on your vision board or bucket list? What possibilities exist for you?  Have you gained clarity about what I want to do with your life? Are you giving yourself permission to let go of what you previously thought was impossible to let go? I had limiting thoughts due to my chronic lung issues, but I am now prioritizing what I feel is most important. I’m feeling less limited and ready to push forward.

Most people are always keeping busy, and, unfortunately, our culture glorifies this way of being. A hectic, busy lifestyle is socially acceptable. I encourage you to spend some time reflecting — all that brings comfort to your soul.

Consider practicing meditation for 15 to 20 minutes every day is healthy and promotes relaxation. Meditation allows us to work on letting go instead of holding negative energy within us. Meditation is nurturing, selfcare of the mind/body.

Writing in a journal about the best things that have happened to you during the course of the day will train your mind to find positivity when you have had a tough day.

May your mind be open to what you desire. Our mind body connection is strong. Our immune systems are more effective if we feel less stressed. Yes, we can’t change a chronic illness but we can do everything in our power to improve the quality of our lives. 

Continue to take all preventative measures seriously, six-foot distancing— stay safe, stay strong! 

Tighten your mask or place a Band-Aid over your mask to lessen the fogging to your eyeglasses. Updates on infection-control precautions and other preventative measures are posted regularly on BronchandNTM360social site.

If you are having anxiety about the vaccination process, here is a link to state-by-state vaccination coverage:

Call your doctor’s office to find out how they are scheduling/prioritizing patients with lung disorders. Once vaccinated, we have the wings to fly with our new vision! Use your new vision to create the life you will love! “Every day is a second chance.” -Unknown

The COPD Foundation advises that before you make any changes to your medication or therapies that you first consult with your doctor.