Creating a Quiet Space
I believe we should have a special space to retreat to. This is a place we can reflect and reconnect with ourselves. Managing COPD takes a great deal of energy. The shortness of breath experienced with it creates anxiety. Finding a way to relieve that anxiety is necessary or it will affect how well we breathe, as well as other health issues. I think of it as a requirement for self-care.
Where and why?
The reason for my space has changed many times throughout the years. It was once a refuge from noisy kids and then a place to rejuvenate from a hectic work schedule. Now it is part of managing COPD. It is my place to calm my mind, do breathing exercises, meditate, and journal. Sometimes I just sit with my eyes closed, mentally taking a break.
The location of my space has also changed. It has been in a room in the basement, in a finished attic space, outdoors in the summer, to its present location, a small space in one corner of my den. It is a spot I find calming. When my husband sees me there, he understands immediately I need some quiet time.
Decorate with intent
Since this is my space for reconnecting with myself, I want it to be as calming as possible. Plants create the feeling of being in nature, and pictures of my favorite scenery and wildlife add to it. A few of my favorite items are on a table such as a small basket of shells and crystals that hold special meaning to me. It is important to me that each piece of decoration has a significant purpose, yet remains uncluttered. Headphones to connect to my meditation music are a necessity, along with a comfortable chair.
When I enter this space, I immediately feel my body start to relax. If I am extremely anxious, I will run my fingers through the basket of shells, imagining the smell and the sound of the sea they came from.
This is my space, created intentionally to release the daily stress of living with COPD. It is important you create your own. You might like to concentrate on space for prayer, reading a bible, or even a space for yoga or tai chi. A craft or hobby space is another idea. The intent is to make it a stress-free zone.
Taking care of me
When we live with COPD, we spend a great deal of time just taking care of the disease. We all have those bad days or even bad moments. It is physically and mentally draining. I know I am going to get anxious when I go out. Even if I am familiar with the place I am going, I can feel my insides churning and the panic rising. Leaving myself time to sit quietly for a few moments in the space I created helps to relieve the apprehension.
Let’s talk about it
Do you have a quiet place? What items do you have that calm you? Holding a crystal and feeling it warm up in my hand helps me, especially when I go out. Do you meditate? Is your space a place for prayer? This is one of my favorite topics and I’m excited to read your comments!
Editor's Note: We are heartbroken to share that Carol passed away in February of 2022. Carol's storytelling and advocacy will be deeply missed, but her legacy lives on through her articles and in all the people she inspired.
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