Reducing the number of crisis events
- The chance of crisis events occurring due to ill health should be reduced if you use your medicines and inhalers appropriately, and remember to eat well and exercise regularly.
- The number of crisis events occurring due to injury, muscle strain or physical exhaustion should be reduced if you increase your exercise tolerance and practise your energy conservation skills.
- The number of crisis events occurring due to stress should be reduced if you practise your relaxation techniques and improve your communication and problem solving skills.
Managing crisis events
When a crisis event does occur, and you find yourself getting emotionally upset, you will need to decide what you can do to avoid the situation from becoming worse or how you can reduce the emotional impact of the event. The following strategies may help you manage crisis events:
- Become aware of your expectations. In the past, if a similar crisis event went from bad to worse, it doesn’t mean that the current event will also go from bad to worse.
- Become aware of the language you are using and replace unhelpful thoughts with more helpful thoughts. For example, rather than thinking your weekend was a disaster, recognise that it rained on the weekend and, as a result, you were unable to do what you wanted to do.
- Protect yourself against becoming too stressed by developing a plan to deal with a difficult situation. You can mentally rehearse what you might do or say before a potentially challenging event occurs. You can also review how you managed after the event and create options for how you might handle a similar situation if it happens again.
- Don’t forget to practice relaxation techniques and use relaxed breathing.
- Take time to do the things you enjoy.
Feelings of helplessness
The diagnosis of COPD may have a significant impact. Everyone with COPD feels helpless to some degree, particularly if experiencing recurring flare ups. However, it is important to remember that these feelings of helplessness are normal and remember that everything you can do to manage your condition helps.