Living in the Moment
Last updated: March 2023
In my experience, the "what if's" and future trajectory of my heart failure are sources of stress. And it's hard to forget that you are a heart failure patient given the multiple meds most patients have to take, along with the physical symptoms of this disease. With this disease, it is not like you take meds and feel fine.
So how do I try to not let the worry and unknowns get the best of me? How do I try to find balance in living while also living with the reality of serious future unknowns that could very much negatively impact my functionality and quality of life? I hope that these thoughts help others who could be in a similar situation.
I try to live in the moment.
Really, right NOW is all that any of us have. Not to say that it is easy, but taking it day by day and focusing on the present has helped me. I try to enjoy each day that I have, and truly focusing on the present has also helped me see things that I might have otherwise missed like the birds chirping, the pretty sunset, etc.
Again, please do not think that if you struggle with this mentality then that means that the problem is you. It's not! It is not easy to live in the moment when you are also dealing with grief, loss, and a progressively debilitating condition. It is anything BUT easy...Sometimes you also have to have grace and patience with yourself, and realize that tomorrow is an opportunity to try again! And that is okay. The most any of us can do is our best.
My emotional rescue ideas for the harder days with heart failure
However, what if living in the moment is not quite doing enough that day, and for whatever reason you find yourself spiraling? What if you need an emotional rescue kit?
First though, if you find yourself in an unhealthy mental state please reach out to a qualified professional for help. The ideas I am sharing below are not meant to treat clinical depression, anxiety, or especially thoughts of self-harm. If you need help, do not hesitate to seek consistent support from a qualified professional.
My emotional rescue ideas include:
- Take a day off with no responsibilities and play! Perhaps that is being a tourist in your own town or engaging in your favorite hobby.
- Think about all of your senses and renew yourself with calming music, a lovely cup of coffee with a piece of chocolate (if you can have caffeine), or go to a flower garden that smells good.
- Practice gratitude and express that to others. I know this is hard, but I think that as long as we are alive we can all find a few things to be grateful for.
- Try to laugh! I find that laughter always feels good. Maybe it's watching a funny movie or engaging in a silly activity like going to an arcade or bumper cars (if you can physically handle it).
- Try to let things go that you cannot change. I know, this is very hard, especially in the context of loss and grief. Notice that the call to action is not results- I said TRY...The most we can expect is our best.
- Eat dessert first (within reason). Sometimes I think that we all need to have some reward before the work and that is OK! There is nothing wrong with knowing yourself as well.
Do you have any tips for trying to live in the moment, while managing heart failure, and the "what ifs" that come with it? If so, feel free to share in the comments section below! Helping others can also bring joy.
Besides heart failure, do you have any other chronic medical conditions?
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