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Portable Oxygen Concentrator Resource Center

How to Give Yourself Love and Care with COPD

Posted by Erin Lowry on Jun 29, 2018 11:43:19 AM


how to give yourself love and care with copd
It is hard to put yourself first in many situations, we want to care and love others so much that sometimes we forget about ourselves.

It can be hard for those with COPD or similar respiratory diseases as it can be a challenge to care for others when you also need to care for yourself.

We found some ways to make it easier to take time and care for yourself, as well as calming ways to take care of yourself without causing a flare up.

If you feel as though you are often anxious and you feel unrelaxed, speak with your doctor and see what they personally recommend for you.

Below we listed some of our top recommendations to take care of yourself and your body.


Meditation is known to help calm your mind and bring you peace.

Breathing medication can help clear your mind and rid yourself of any distractions.

You can also try breathing techniques to help with your COPD.

When participating in breathing meditation, the goal is to sit in a comfortable position and focus on your natural breathing.

This is best done through your nose versus your mouth, and you just focus on the air entering and leaving your body.

You may start thinking about what is for dinner, or your plans with friend next week, but the goal is to keep your mind clear and not to follow any thoughts.

Focusing on your breathing until you feel calm and relaxed is a small way to help with your anxiety and stress, as well as to work on your breathing for your COPD.

Breathing meditation is categorized under concentration meditation, where you focus on one small thing, such as your breathing, repeating a word, staring at a candle or a still object.

senior man meditating in the park

When doing any form of concentration meditation, if you feel yourself wandering, like breathing meditation, you want to refocus on the thing you are concentrating on.

Mindfulness meditation focuses on the thoughts that occur while you are meditating.

You are to take note of each thought, but continue to allow your mind to drift through your thoughts.

A common meditation practice for Buddhist monks is one that focuses on compassion and turning negatives into positives.

When faced with a tough decision, their goal is to be focused on turning negatives into positives.

In situations such as getting into a car accident, the focus is to turn that negative into a positive.

Realizing that the car accident is a good thing, you get to miss work, or spend time with a loved one at the repair shop.

Flipping your negative situation into a positive can help keep you in a better mindset and mood.

This positive attitude can help reduce stress in an otherwise stressful situation.


Another beneficial activity for you and your health is yoga.

Finding a yoga class that is customized to your age group can be a fun way to get out of the house and get proper instruction.

Or if you feel you can do it on your own, you can find simple tutorials on Youtube that have a focus on breathing.

You can also find yoga videos through a website that may be more suitable to you.

Keep in mind you may have to pay for these sites to use them.

Never try anything you do not feel safe doing, or your doctor does not recommend for you to try.

If you feel a move or position is uncomfortable, skip it until there is another move you feel safe doing.

Sitting down and practicing the techniques from online can help calm you down before you go to sleep.

Yoga can also help strengthen your muscles.

Taking a Bath:

Another good way to relax yourself as well as take good care of yourself is to take a nice bath.

Though using candles and scented soap is probably not a good idea, a warm bath with a good book is a good way to unwind at the end of the day.

Using scent free soap, and keeping the door open or fan on can prevent the bathroom from getting too humid while taking a bath.

If you feel you are starting to have a hard time breathing, make sure to get out of the bathroom and try to focus on your breathing.

Sitting Outside in the Evenings:

senior woman relaxing outside

Though summer can be brutal, with the heat and humidity, you can still enjoy the weather.

Sitting outside after peak hours of the day (after 3 pm or before 11 am) can be a good way to start or end the day, without getting too hot.

Getting a cup of tea or glass of wine and enjoying the summer breeze is a great way to end the day.

If it was too hot throughout the day, stay inside unless it has cooled off dramatically.

Only go enjoy the outside air if you know the pollen count is low and the temperature is tolerable.

You could have a loved one join you and relax while you chat about the world.

Taking a Nap:

Though not everyone enjoys naps, they can help with a little “you time”.

Curling up on a warm day and taking a short nap for an hour or so can refresh your mood and your energy.

It can also calm you down after a long hectic day or give you energy before a big family picnic.

Don’t nap too close to the end of the day, as it can cause you to spend more time away in bed when you plan to go to sleep.

Taking too long of naps can prevent you from having a good night of sleep, so set an alarm and limit your naps.

Food and Drink:

Speaking of wine, eating the right foods and drinking alcohol in healthy portions is another good way to enjoy yourself.

Your doctor knows what your best diet could be, as well as the appropriate amount to drink, alcohol or not.

Drinking too much can affect your breathing, making it harder to cough up mucus or slow your breathing rate.

Water is the healthiest option for those with COPD, but an occasional drink here or there should not have a noticeable effect.

As for food, sticking to healthier foods can make it easier to breathe and easier to lose weight.

Buying a fresh meal at the supermarket, having a friend or loved one cook for you, or cooking for yourself can make it easier to eat healthy.

Grabbing fast food or going out to a restaurant every once in a while, can be a treat for yourself but make sure to order healthier items on the menu.

It is important to let yourself enjoy food and drinks, but to know your limits and remember what your doctor recommends for you.


Though it may not sound like your giving yourself some love, exercise is good for you and can be enjoyable if you make it.

Exercise good for your physical health, and can boost your energy and mood.

Small workouts, as simple as just a few push ups and crunches or going for a short walk around the neighborhood can help release endorphins, putting you in a better mood.

It is also beneficial to your heart, as exercise can lower the risk of heart disease.

Exercise can also help you quit smoking as it can reduce withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings you may have for nicotine.

Exercise can also help you sleep better, which can be beneficial to your mood and energy levels.

senior woman working out with a personal trainer

Another benefit of exercise is how it can help your immunity to some illnesses by flushing out bacteria in your lungs and this can reduce the risk of a cold or the flu.

When looking into how to exercise, you can find a local class for aerobics or biking for your age group can be a good way to exercise and enjoy the time you are exercising.

You can also get a personal trainer or physical therapist to help you with your workouts.

Or try a few of these at enjoy working out in the comfort of your own home.


Though it can be hard to feel relaxed and calm, there are a few ways to try.

Staying in and doing things you enjoy can be a treat but also should be necessary a few times a month.

Focusing on yourself and treating yourself is an important way to care and love yourself and your body.

Meditation, yoga, taking a bath, sitting outside, taking a nap, eating good food and having a drink as well as exercise can all help you take care of yourself.

It is important to speak with your doctor and let them know your stress and see if they have any recommendations for you personally.

Let us know in the comment section below how you like to unwind after a long day.


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