COMFORT ZONES… What we do when…

Contributed by Bob Rawlins, oxygen user and consultant to CAIRE Inc. ~ 

So, many talk about it, many think about it, but how many actually challenge themselves when it comes to moving out of our comfort zones?

This really applies to everyone that is healthy, chronically ill, or even work and home challenges.

I think the main reason people don’t move out of their comfort zone is because of, yes, fear, say it out loud…

We all suffer from that “f” word called fear. It makes us stop doing some things we might have strongly considered doing. It can stop us from doing other things that could help others.

But, in the case of those who suffer from chronic lung diseases, Idiopathic Lung Disease (ILD), whatever, it can stop you from living.

There is so many things you can read that address this idea of challenging ourselves to do and be better. Have you made a list?

I continue to read about this and have continued to move myself out of my comfort zone. Especially, after I have started on my journey of living with chronic lung disease.

Fear, is an everyday word that I have personally adjusted to and try to face head on if I start to feel that anxiety of fear or the unknown beginning to stir up those feelings of not knowing what will happen if I do this or that.

I shared one of my fears with my doctor – my desire to try taking short walks to the mailbox without my oxygen therapy. With some guidance from her, we set parameters on a way I could test my progress, and calm some of these fears.

Fears regarding not having supplemental oxygen surround me daily.

If I walk to the mailbox and back without my oxygen, hmmmm, what happens? The family gets crazy and there is the continued yelling, “Bob, where is your oxygen, why are you not wearing it?” Look, I’m not saying we should try and live without the O2 cord, but what happened?

Can I do it? Without feeling too out of control, feel normal for a few minutes. Yeah, I got a bit light-headed, but no worse than that last glass of wine. 🙂

I did proper breathing down and back from the mailbox, and I had my trusty therapy dog, Opal, with me.

But I did feel better, to conquer this fear and continue to monitor more things that I can do without being tethered to my oxygen cord jail, LOL. But, it took me time to face that fear. Of course, if you are thinking about doing something similar, have someone around to help and encourage you.

Some of the best things happen when you are uncomfortable or out of the comfort zone. Keep your expectations real and think what the worst thing that can happen is. Now, oxygen therapy is a different monster for sure, but what can you do by challenging yourself?

This was a small activity, but I felt great and moved on to other stuff. Traveling, getting out lots of the time and more often. Many of the activities I challenge myself to do today might not have happened if I didn’t take that walk to the mailbox. What would help you? Think about it, challenge yourself.

Obviously if becomes a learning experience, right? Did you feel good about it and yourself?

That is what is about, what makes us feel better and how do we do the things over and over again to keep us happy.

So, simple, doesn’t everyone kind of think that way? What can I do to make my family happier, what can I do personally to make that happen? In the end you and they and those around you feel better.

There is so much more I’d like to talk about on this very important topic. We will continue with a Part 2 as well.

Let’s take this as dreaded “baby steps” and build on it.

Pick something you know is a bit fearful for you to do and figure out how to attack that fear.

If you fail at first, try again if it is still important to you.

Be smart, not overzealous, but challenge yourself.

Is there a small walk to the mailbox you’d like to take but haven’t even tried? Ask yourself, why? Is there a restaurant, or place you have been avoiding because that hose in the nose is stopping you or other health issues?

Is there someone at work you fear because you don’t think they will understand you or your feelings? Plan the approach.

Research a little, prepare a lot, listen to your body, listen to others you have asked to help.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” …hmm who wrote that? Love it!

‘Til next time! Think about moving out of that comfort zone.






– Coach Bob

Bob Rawlins, 60, of Medina, Ohio, is husband to Terese and father to their 13-year-old triplets, a soccer coach, a hospital volunteer, and marketing guru. He enjoys skiing and golfing with his SeQual eQuinox portable oxygen concentrator.  

If you have been prescribed oxygen therapy, learn more about CAIRE wearable, portable and stationary oxygen concentrators by visiting or calling 1-877-704-0878 to talk to an oxygen advisor. We also have included a convenient contact form below if you want us to reach out to you. Thank you. 

When using any oxygen therapy device please consult the applicable product instructions for use for product indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and detailed safety information.

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