The Summer Slump With COPD and How to Beat It
Last updated: August 2023
Summertime has a certain feel that brings on memories of my mom. All of my mom’s friends called her Tootsie. She lived up to her cheerful name in many ways and rarely let things get her down. She did her best to keep her chin up whenever the summer slump hit. She also had tricks to help her beat a summer slump, even with COPD.
The COPD summer slump
What is a summer slump? If my mom felt that her energy had gone down the drain before 10:00 a.m., she was in a slump. On days when the temperature reached 75 degrees before noon, she felt that she was at a higher risk of a summer slump.
Summertime is when the outdoors burst with color. The warmth of the sun radiates well-being. Visually, your senses feel energy and optimism. The opportunity for outdoor events and activities are so inviting.
Physically, it can be the opposite. As the temperature rises, it can sap your strength, creating a slump. Being outdoors in a humid environment could get my mom physically and mentally down.
Ideas for beating the summer slump
Sticking to a schedule
Mom made sure to get any errands out of the way by starting her day early. If she had to book an appointment, she asked for the earliest time possible. Being back indoors by noon kept her cooler and made it easier for her to breathe.
Clothing choices are important
My mom needed to stay cool outdoors, but it always got cold in stores and offices. Her solution was to wear light, breathable fabrics. She often layered by wearing a short-sleeved shirt and then having a longer-sleeved button-up blouse over that.
Heavy polyester clothes were out. They made her feel like she was suffocating.
Bring the outdoors in
Mom had a small bird feeder and bird bath. With very little effort on her part, she became the center of the bird community.
A pair of cardinals stayed with her year-round, and she even watched them bring the fledglings to the feeder every summer. They brought her endless delight.
Sharing a meal
Mom loved it when someone came to share a meal. She would buy potato salad and a can of baked beans and cook hot dogs. Her red and white checked tablecloth and paper plates made it feel like a picnic.
Once, she got the grandkids to color pictures of the sun to hang near the table. I laugh at how much fun she could create with little effort.
Finding joy even when in a slump
Everyone remembers Tootsie for her ability to find the good in any situation. I’m still amazed when I look back on everything she did to bring joy into life.
Not only did she benefit from it, but her joy was contagious and spread to those she loved. This short list may help you to think of ways to beat the summer slump.
What tips do you have for the community? Please share in the comments below so we can continue to learn from each other.
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