Last updated: November 2019
Probably the most valuable thing I have learned as an adult is the incredible importance of boundary setting, both when it comes to my health, and in my personal and professional life. Boundaries are basically rules and limits that you set for yourself and how you interact with other people. There is a common misconception out there that boundaries lead to isolation and poor self-esteem. When in reality it does the complete opposite. It gives you better self-esteem because you are setting that boundary for your benefit, not the other persons and you have that power to protect yourself in different situations. When it comes to your health and your COPD, setting boundaries is very important.
Set boundaries to protect yourself
Setting boundaries make it so yourself and your well being is number one. But it is not always easy to set them because we fear the potentially negative reaction from others whom we have set the boundary with. The purpose of a boundary is NOT to punish others and one important thing to remember when setting any boundaries is that you are not denying the person, you are just rejecting the behavior.
Health boundaries are important
Health boundaries are just as important as personal and/or professional ones. Don’t allow anyone to try and make you do things that could potentially seriously impact your breathing. One example would be if pollen is a major trigger for your COPD and your friend invites you to an outdoor spring concert. You politely decline and inform your friend that it’s too risky for your health. They then keep pushing and insist that you should go anyway and they even might try to offer you a mask or other option to get you to change your mind. This is when it is important to stick to your boundary of not wanting to risk a COPD flare-up. While “no” is a complete sentence, often times if you explain why you won’t risk it they will understand and stop insisting and better understand your reasoning.
A simple cold can be detrimental to someone with COPD
Another example is setting boundaries when it comes to being around people who are sick, in any instance. It is okay to ask if anyone who might be attending a dinner party or other get together is currently sick because what might seem like a simple cold to one person could be detrimental to a person with COPD. To someone with compromised lungs, a simple cold is NEVER ‘simple.’ It is okay to politely decline the invite or cancel last minute in order to protect your lungs.
I want to empower you to set some boundaries when it comes to your health if you aren’t already doing so. Not only will it protect your physical health, but your well being as well! If you have already set boundaries, what are some of the ones you have in place? I would love to hear them!
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