Having a pulmonary embolism can be very painful and scary. But PE recovery goes beyond the physical—there are mental and emotional aspects to consider as well. While taking your medication, eating well, and staying active is a great start to your recovery, it’s not uncommon to feel a lot of strong emotions after a PE—especially if it’s your first one and you’re worried about whether it could happen to you again. If this isn’t your first PE, you might be struggling with frustration, sadness, or even anger. Wherever you’re at in your recovery process, if you don’t feel like yourself, you may benefit from some of the following techniques to manage feelings of stress and anxiety.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or family member for help if you need it. Recovering from a PE can be difficult, and knowing you have someone to lean on can be reassuring. You may also want to explore local support groups or online communities for people who have also had PEs.
Get enough sleep
Everyone is different, but most healthy adults need about 6–8 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough quality sleep has a positive impact on your mood, eating habits, energy levels, and more. Try to stay more active, limit caffeine and screen time before bed, and establish a consistent bedtime to give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep.
Consider meditation or yoga
Mindfulness practices like meditation or yoga can help reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. Both practices focus on the breath and acknowledging thoughts as they come and go. Yoga is also a great, low-impact way to stay active. Not ready to join a local yoga class or download a meditation app? Simply stopping what you’re doing once or twice a day to breathe deeply can help calm and clear your mind.
Find healthy outlets for stress
When your stress levels are elevated, try taking a walk or writing your feelings down in a journal. Participating in a hobby that you love or volunteering can also help you manage stress.
Even when times are tough, gratitude can lift your spirits and gently shift your thinking. Before you go to sleep at night, try to think of three things you were thankful for that day—they don’t have to be big things, either. The laughter of a child or the sight of flowers in your garden can be positive reminders of the good things in life.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not able to live the life that you were accustomed to; things will get better.
Hear more advice from Tiffany.