Tips and tricks for handling the holidays.

Tips and Tricks for Tackling the Holidays

In a recent survey, 106 of our COPD community members shared their holiday struggles as well as some methods for coping during the holiday season. Between the cold weather and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s not surprising that individuals face a multitude of uphill battles. If you yourself have COPD, know that you are not alone in facing these challenges! But hopefully, a few of these tools will resonate with your experience and help you to better manage the holiday season to come!

Community Challenges:

Many in the community feel the holiday season is no different than any other time of the year, but most of those surveyed found to some extent that their COPD symptoms get worse due to the stress and extra activities of the holidays.

• 83% worry about disappointing others at the holidays
• 2/3 find it a challenge to deal with the cold weather
• A few find the extra scents of candles and perfumes to be overwhelming
• 44% will change their medication regimen to help manage the additional activity

While these concerns may not seem surprising to the average person, there were many other issues that might not be as expected. The physical activity required for such tasks as picking-up the house or cleaning after a party is a common and debilitating struggle. Even decorating for the holidays poses a challenge to 52% of individuals—something often overlooked by friends and family. Shopping for gifts can be a small battle for over half of respondents, with 70% of these individuals shopping online to manage the physical exhaustion.

But despite the prevalence of these challenges only ¼ hire outside help. It’s easy for loved ones to think “if they need help, they’ll ask,” but that is often easier said than done. Advice to friends and family: When in doubt, offer to help!

Tips and Tricks:

Most of the individuals surveyed agree that moderation is key. Here are some additional tips and tricks that have been used and suggested by the community:

• Try not to bite off more than you can chew
• Make lists and prioritize based on importance
• Plan ahead and spread your tasks out over several days
• Take time to rest and pamper yourself
• Delegate, delegate, delegate!

And most importantly, try to sit back and enjoy the food, friends and family that come with the holiday season!


Survey respondents were primarily female (92%) with an average age of 62. Among those surveyed, 57% were married or in a committed long-term relationship and 92% had children. Of those with children, 9 out 10 individuals’ children were all over the age of 18. Most of those surveyed were diagnosed with COPD within the past 5 years (62%). 85% of individuals celebrated at least 3 holidays this time of year.

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