My self-care strategy includes ‘no medical talk’ days
Why setting aside days for intentional joy is important
Life with pulmonary hypertension (PH) is overwhelming and exhausting at times. We patients often find ourselves sitting in doctors’ offices, calling about insurance claims, and checking on medication refills. This can be difficult when conversations seem almost always centered on treatments, test results, and the latest PH research.
That’s why taking some time away from medical talk is essential, even if it’s only for a day. Having a “no medical talk” day can benefit both patients and caregivers. Let’s explore why it’s important and how we can make the most of it.
Recently, fellow columnist and Pulmonary Hypertension News Forums co-moderator Colleen Steele asked, “How does your mind handle the good days?” Most agreed that it is difficult. As I thought about the question, I shared how I try to keep busy so that my mind doesn’t focus on a plan for the next bad day, which inevitably comes. This continuous cycle can be overwhelming and exhausting.
What is a ‘no medical talk’ day?
The idea behind a day without medical talk is simple: On the chosen day, don’t discuss anything related to your health, including treatments and coexisting conditions. Instead, focus on enjoying activities that bring joy to your life, such as going for a walk or an e-bike ride, doing yoga or other forms of exercise, or watching movies — whatever brings you peace and happiness!
Surrounding myself with supportive and positive people helps me focus on things other than my medical issues. Everyone knows I love the beach and e-bike rides. Cooking is also a way I stay busy; plus, because I’m from the South, to me, food is love. Lunch dates and pampering with the girls are fun ways to relax with friends.
The point is not just taking a break from talking about your health but also finding ways to enjoy life without feeling bogged down by all the stress associated with managing PH, or caring for someone who has it.
Making room for self-care
In addition to focusing on things that bring us joy, no medical talk days are also an opportunity to practice self-care, which is especially important when living with PH or caring for someone who has it. Self-care activities such as getting enough restful sleep at night, eating healthy meals throughout the day, and engaging in calming activities like sitting at the beach and taking in the fresh air and the beauty of nature are great ways to look after yourself mentally and physically during days off. Doing things that make us feel good helps us manage our symptoms better so that we can live our best lives, despite any challenges we may face with PH.
I hope this column inspires you to set aside one day each week when all conversations revolve around topics other than PH. However, little things like medication alarms buzzing throughout the day are important reminders. It’s the calls to refill prescriptions, check insurance claims, or schedule procedures that we should try to refrain from on this dedicated day.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.
Thank you for your wise words it’s been a struggle for me .
Hi Carol, I'm grateful that you found this column on self-care helpful. You can do it! Creating those "no medical talk" days is challenging and a work in progress.
Thanks for taking the time to read my column and share your thoughts.
Take care and enjoy w wonderful weekend, my PHriend,