Coping with breathlessness

Although breathlessness causes people lots of difficulties there are many ways of coping with it! The collage shown above was made by Eric who wanted to show what was important to him in coping with breathlessness: exercising, getting support from others and finding helpful information. It’s a hopeful image with the sun coming out from behind the clouds.

In this recording people talk about how getting out and about, joining support groups and exercising all help them live well with breathlessness. With the coronavirus ever present in our lives this may seem challenging but there are many ways to be active and enjoy other people’s company without being close together.

How does getting regular exercise help you? It helps to keep your body in as good a condition that it can be and it helps you feel able to do tasks in your everyday life. It doesn’t have to be in a gym, exercise can take many forms-walking, gardening, tidying the house…

Often it is about the person challenging themselves-not focusing on what they have difficulty with, but seeing what they can do.

I’ll keep looking for new ways and I’ll try to do more exercise in future.

I’m proud of what my husband has achieved. He pushes himself even when he’s getting out of breath.

With a little bit of help, a little bit of exercise and a good outlook you can be ok.

What do people get from being in support groups?

I see that I am not alone and there are people who struggle just like me, but are still able to remain positive.

Many support groups aren’t meeting in person right now but some have started online meetings or keeping in touch by phone. If you would like to read more about what people get from support groups or to find a support group near you then try looking at the British Lung Foundation’s website.

One thing that can really help you get out and about is a blue badge which many people with breathlessness are eligible for.

It can be an immense help as it is easier to find parking spots near where you want to go. It can give you a real sense of freedom and help you live a more active life!

Some people think that because it isn’t always obvious to others that they have difficulties walking far that maybe they don’t deserve a blue badge. There is no need to think like that, it can be a great help so do apply if you haven’t already got one.

As long as I have my blue badge I can go anywhere! As long as I can get virtually where I want to be with a blue badge that’s the saving grace, there’s nothing going to stop me going anywhere.

For more information on ways to cope with breathlessness do look at our Guide to living well with breathlessness.

How do you cope with breathlessness? Do let us know by leaving a comment below.

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