Shed your leaves and let go of what no longer serves you

For Self-Improvement Month, a change of seasons can be a chance for growth

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by Jen Cueva |

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Fall has always been my favorite season. Unfortunately, San Diego doesn’t quite have the enchanting fall foliage that other places do. Instead of a vibrant cascade of leaves, it’s more like a few scattered ones and a whimsical dance of pollen floating through the air. That mix mingles here with the sunshine and swaying palm trees.

Isn’t it such a magical time? Watching the transformation reminds me that we often need to shed our leaves as we let go of things in our lives. Managing a rare disease like pulmonary hypertension (PH) is challenging, and I often need to eliminate some stressors. Like cleaning out your closet several times yearly, you also need to clean your life.

Decluttering can be therapeutic and make a life with a rare disease less stressful. Why don’t we look at our lives and reevaluate what is and isn’t serving us? This way, we can free ourselves to focus on the present even as we look ahead to new beginnings. After all, there’s only so much control each of us with PH has.

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Changes as opportunities

Life is an ever-changing adventure. Nothing remains the same for long, including the seasons, relationships, careers, fashion, and physical bodies. But here’s the secret: Wholeheartedly embracing life’s mesmerizing ebb and flow can harness its power to our advantage. It’s all about riding the cycles and flowing with the rhythm of life.

This season, especially as September is Self-Improvement Month, I’m tackling the art of decluttering. Below are three examples that pop into my mind when I think about elements of my life I’d like to let go.

1. Negative talk or emotions: These often wear me down. But you know what helps? Putting my thoughts on paper by writing in my journal. It lets me unleash those emotions and set them free. It’s a therapeutic release!

2. Bad habits: Hey, Ed Sheeran! My bad habits don’t lead to you, but I have a few I can shed. One of them is procrastination. Before my PH diagnosis, I used to be super organized and planned everything well in advance. Yet the challenge of balancing my PH, chronic kidney disease, and coexisting health conditions have had me slipping into procrastination mode more often. It’s a battle, but I’m working on it!

3. Some relationships and people: Sometimes, people enter our lives like a new season. But when some people start draining instead of uplifting, it’s time to create distance or even let them go. With some relationships, a break will help. Others, you know it’s better to move on. Embrace the uncertainty of what lies ahead; the universe is in control.

Rather than be overwhelmed by it all, let’s find solace in the moments of joy that come our way. Think of that cascade of leaves!

Let’s try to make our lives more manageable and create space for ourselves to breathe. Keeping organized and focused on what matters leaves room for fun activities; in my case, that might be cooking and reading. We can find comfort in moments of pleasure — like listening to birds singing in the morning or sitting on the sand of the beach and listening to the waves.

Let’s take each day as it comes and find peace in the little things. With PH, we may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can choose how to respond. So let’s strive for balance and harmony and take comfort in the beauty of life.

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.


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