a woman with a nebulizer is surrounded by a wreath of spring flowers

A Time for Renewal

I'm writing this at the end of February. I always think of this as the beginning of the end of winter. Spring is truly in sight and I am doing the happy dance. It is a time of renewal. There are new goals to be made and plans for the warmer weather.

I feel like I need to get back to the beginning, to the basics. The year 2020 was a long and dark one for most. Mentally and emotionally I have been feeling heavy or burdened. Dealing with the pandemic is like living each day with uncertainty. With the vaccinations taking place, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Life is lighter and I want to begin again completely uncluttered.

Back to basics

Exercise, diet, mental health

Most of us with COPD learn pretty quickly the necessity of exercise, a healthy diet, and controlling anxiety. All of that seemed to have gotten buried under the pandemic worries. I am an emotional eater so cookies and chips became part of the daily diet. Even though I exercised pretty regularly, my workouts were certainly not my best efforts. Procrastination took over and all my house and personal projects and goals are still not completed. I feel like I have spiraled downward and wasted a year.

Removing temptations

This weekend the pantry and cabinets have been emptied of all the tempting sugars and carbohydrates that have added to increased shortness of breath, and my waistline. I am looking forward to lighter meals, along with less fullness and bloat after I eat. I have reworked my exercise routine to include more walking instead of chair exercises. Walking distances is very difficult for me, but the more I do it, I hope it will become easier.

Starting the day right

I admit, I never look forward to the exercise portion of managing COPD, but I do like the results from it. A gratitude journal was always part of my morning routine. I stopped doing it and realized lately I have been complaining about little things that really are not important. This was always an important start of my day, setting a positive tone and reminding me that life isn’t all that bad.

Lightening the load


My thoughts are turning toward more decluttering. There are still collectibles, books, and furnishings that only add to the dust and cleaning chores. I have gone through the decluttering process a couple of times in the past six years. I feel like I am peeling back layers of my life. Each time I do this project I lighten the load a little bit more. I’m hoping this time will be the final layer, leaving only the necessities of living a fulfilled life for me and nothing more.

New beginnings

I think that’s the answer I have been looking for. I know where I see my life moving forward. It has taken these seven years of living with severe COPD to figure it out. Now I can take each room and rid myself of anything not needed for the future. It will be a long project, but a satisfying one. In my mind, I can see and feel new beginnings everywhere.

“The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” - Harriet Ann Jacobs

How do you feel as we enter spring? Do you feel a sense of renewal? Do you keep a gratitude journal? Decluttering belongings can help a great deal with air quality and breathing better. Have you pared down your belongings?

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.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.