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Overcoming That Lazy Feeling.

Overcoming Fatigue and That Lazy Feeling

Looking at the title above I am reminded we have all had those days of feeling very lazy, with or without COPD.  I can remember pre-COPD days when I felt in need of a ‘duvet day’. To lie in bliss doing little but to wallow in my own selfish laziness. There can be nothing more blissful than a day of doing nothing. But for us with COPD this can spell danger if we do not overcome this feeling of fatigue, or laziness quickly.

When we wallow too long in idleness doing little or nothing – perhaps sitting on the sofa, watching television for long periods, changing channels with the remote, far from invigorating ourselves – we are likely to become more idle, and do less. It is then the cycle of laziness sets in, and if we are not careful, find ourselves in the rut of doing the least we can. This is when a big red sign with the word, DANGER, should be put before our eyes.

As we become idle, and sit around doing nothing for too long, our lung capacity will diminish at a surprisingly rapid rate. It really is the use-it-or-lose-it syndrome. Mucus will increase. We will become more breathless. And in a short time breathing will become harder for all but the least demanding tasks. In a short time any activity, even walking to the bathroom, you might  become more breathless. Sadly some will then reason the simple option is to continue doing little. As becoming breathless is then less of a problem, and so the rapid downward spiral begins.

I have been there. I have learned the lesson. That feeling of fatigue, and laziness, can be beaten. We can take back control. As activity breeds activity.

Most, if not all of us, have something we enjoy doing. I love photography, meteorology, research, and travel. Writing too. It might be an interest you once had before you had COPD has been lost. But can be revived. If so start back, and revive that subject you once enjoyed, Because there is nothing better than an interest or hobby to get yourself moving, and helping you to overcome that feeling of tiredness.

You might not believe it if you are reading this feeling really washed out and tired but the truth is movement encourages more movement. Which in turn helps us to feel more alert, and less tired.

To start you could do simple tasks. Maybe a little gardening or a walk around the garden. Small easy jobs around the house. During one of my lazy periods I washed dishes to get me moving. Visiting friends or relatives. A walk in the park. Anything that gets your body moving will help you overcome that dreaded lazy spot. We have all been there. The secret is to overcome that tired lazy feeling, and to start moving that body again.

As someone who loves to sit at the computer writing, or working on research projects, it is not uncommon for me to get writers block. Usually I overcome this by writing about anything. In any fashion, and on any subject I want. The main thing is to free my mind, and get the creative juices flowing. It is much the same with that feeling of fatigue and laziness. We have to get over that block.

If, like me, you do a lot of computer work, don’t forget to take an hourly break to move that body. My favorite is to turn the music up, and slowly move in dance. I love music, and it is a wonderful enjoyable way to get my body moving. This too is an enjoyable way to invigorate yourself.  If like me you use oxygen, don’t forget to use it while moving around.

The rewards in being active is a longer life, with better health. A more fun-filled, enjoyable life too. I have very severe emphysema, use oxygen for mobility, have a FEV1 of just 25%, but still enjoy life. I visit restaurants. Go on vacation. Take part in volunteer, research and university projects. And am involved in healthcare projects in my local community.

I am often seen out and about with my camera. Sometimes it is an effort. I do get days that can be much more breathless than others. But I enjoy life. And so can you.

Don’t let COPD stop you enjoying your family, your hobbies, your life. Get that body moving to rid yourself of that tired feeling. You won’t regret it. I promise.

Be positive. Get that body moving. And enjoy life. Till I write again. Smile and most of all. Breathe easy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Paula
    2 years ago

    There is one thing that keeps me down when I should be up moving and that one thing is preparation. All my life I was a “jump and run” person – jumping up from whatever and running to do what needed to be done. Now it’s gathering up whatever I need to carry to the other room, grabbing my oxygen tubing and moving on very slowly so as not to trip myself on the tubing. Actually leaving the house is a 20 minute ordeal – putting everything in my purse I need to take, getting out my backpack oxygen and getting it over my head and arranged so it’s not putting all the weight on just one area, then out the door I go, stopping to lock it up. Get to the car and it’s like undressing – take off the backpack and move it over to the other seat, take off the purse and move it over, get myself in the car without exposing myself indecently which is kind of hard since the tubing from the backpack to cannula is not as long (for a reason) as the one in the house – then do it all in over again when I get where I’m going. Sometimes just the thought of having to do all that “work” is just more than I can stand on any given day but tomorrow it might not be so intimidating and/or exhausting. Sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to be lazy today so you can get moving tomorrow.

  • Patricia
    3 years ago

    Thank you for this helpful article. There are some days when I am very tired and still procrastinate — but I have learned that forcing myself to do a small chore leads to another chore and so on. Daily my dog insists on going for a walk– which I do depending on the weather usually every other day or so- So I try to keep moving and off the sofa and away from the tv. I admit that once in a while I give in but at the end of those days I am disappointed in myself for wasting the day. So, put a Keep Moving sign on fridge, bath mirror or computer desk and DO IT! 🙂

  • Derek Cummings author
    3 years ago

    Well done Patricia. As you have found it is all too easy to sit too long on that sofa. Being a fidget really helps. And as you have found, one small job leads to another. I love the idea of the keep moving sign. There is no doubt about it when we move, and do something, we always feel better after, often leaving us with much more energy than when we first started.. The secret is to pace ourselves. Breathe easy and keep moving.

  • lynn2u
    3 years ago

    Thanks Derek. I tell my friends that now that I am retired, my job is to “Keep moving”….to swim, do strength building exercises and stamina building activities as well as yoga breathing, and the Taijiquan Qigong that you mentioned. This article applies to folk with other ailments of aging, too. I am sharing with all!

  • Derek Cummings author
    3 years ago

    Thank you for your comments Lynn. It is people like yourself that find my writing helpful that makes writing articles such as this one all the more worthwhile. I love your positive attitude, and of course you are quite right that moving applies to all ailments. Thank you for sharing.

  • valie
    3 years ago

    You are so right! I fell in a black hole after getting a upper resp infection. Laid low for a month and got real used to it. It got to where I was having a real hard time breathing again. This after 4 years of pulm rehab. I just joined a new facility in my new hometown and it’s working me…feeling better. I even took a Quijong class which makes you do breathing exercises for an hour! I was exausted. Thanks for the pep talk Dereck, we needed the nudge!

  • Derek Cummings author
    3 years ago

    I am so pleased you found the strength to move Valie. Becoming depressed after a setback is all too common. But as you have proved the way forward is to move, which in turn will help to lighten mood, and most of all, lead to us breathing better.

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