Journaling Your Journey
We are on the cusp of a new season. Depending on where you are from it could be Spring or Fall. No matter what the season is, any new season is a great time to consider starting a daily journal. Today’s journal is about your life and your journey through COPD.
What I look for in a journal
I begin my journal with a special book. I am always on the lookout for one that has just the perfect paper and thickness. I love the smell of new books; it never gets old for me. You can pick a book that is lined, on graph paper, or one that has no lines at all. It's about your preference.
I look for a book that has an envelope in the back of it to hold any loose papers I have like prescriptions and test results. It is nice if the book closes with elastic. It makes it known that not just anybody is invited to read this book. After all, it is private because it is all about your life.
Writing inside the book
On the inside cover of the book, I write my name and address and a disclosure that the book is private and if found, there is a reward for return. That is a bit of an incentive to have the finder of my book return it. I then continue writing some information pages at the beginning of the book. Some of the pages are:
- My keys to what the diagrams mean
- Weather symbols
- Trackers I keep
- An index page
- A 'when did I last...?' page for a list of when I changed my furnace filter, when I cleaned the fridge, when I had a med review, etc.
- A 'don’t forget' page
- A phone number page
- Doctors' appointments
I leave a few pages blank in case I think of something that I would like to keep track of. While I am doing my set up, I number my pages at the bottom of each page. This helps me keep my index up to date and organized.
Gratitude, goals, and more tracking
I begin my journal with the current month. I copy a calendar page and input in the days of the month. Then it's on to my gratitude list for the month. Every day that I wake up, I say out loud what I am grateful for and put it in my gratitude list. I then continue my monthly goals. It is great to look back on this list because it shows how much you have grown. Having goals and sticking to them is important.
I do daily spreads and weekly links to the pages to the month. Some of the things I include are how I slept because it makes a difference to my day, the weather outside because weather impacts my COPD, and my daily weight because when I gain weight, it is water weight and that impacts my breathing.
Have you thought of starting a journal for your COPD journey?
How has your experience been navigating the healthcare system as someone with COPD?