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Eleven Tips for Self-Care We Can Do

Eleven Tips for Self-Care We Can Do

Self-Care For Real

There are a lot of articles out there about self-care. The intended audiences are everyone from healthy people to those with chronic illnesses to those with specific illnesses. I love self-care articles. Because I’m a snarky person and most of the articles expect me to have much more energy than I do to follow their advice, so I get to make fun of them.

Take a long, hot bath? I used to love doing that with a glass of wine and a good book. I could soak until the water cooled down. But now? I get short of breath and tired taking a quick shower, toweling off, and getting dressed. And I have a shower seat. So that self-care tip isn’t for me.

Go for a long walk? I’d love to. But I can’t walk too far on a good day so that’s out.

Take a spa day – get my nails done, my hair dyed, a pedicure. HA HA HA! Have you seen me? Also, living on disability I just don’t have the income for that.

You might be the same way. But at times we need to do things that make us feel better, even if only for a little while. Self-Care is important, especially when you have a chronic illness.

So what is really possible for us to do? Here are some things that have helped me; hopefully some will help you too.

1. Change my clothes

If it were feasible, I would stay in the same comfy pajamas day in and day out. But, yeah, yuck. So getting dressed for the day can give you a sense of normalcy and lifts your spirits a little.

2. Take a sponge bath

If it’s too taxing to get in the tub and take a bath, a sponge bath is a great alternative. It doesn’t take as much energy and feeling clean is sure to make you feel better.

3. Read

Reading is a great activity. It engages the brain and the imagination and it’s something you can do even if you’re in an exacerbation.

4. Hobbies

Hobbies are a great way to feel better, even if you can only do a little bit at a time. I’ve taken up photography. When I sit at my window watching the birds or looking at the garden, I also take pictures of them. It’s a joy. If you can find something that gives you joy, that’s the best self-care you can have.

5. Relax/sleep

Sometimes you just need to relax. If that means sipping tea, or taking a nap, or meditating, whatever it is for you, do it.

6. Color

Don’t lose your ability to create. Coloring isn’t just for children. Look at all the coloring books that are aimed at adults. Coloring, painting, or using colored pencils or pens is very soothing because it shifts your focus on to what you’re doing.

7. Treat

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself. To a treat. Whatever that is. A little splurge is great. And you deserve it.

8. Write

Writing is another process of creating, which makes us feel good. It doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel. It can be a whole list of complaints if you want. Getting those words out can be cathartic.

9. Pets

Our furry (or feathered or scaled) friends can make us feel better like no other. Unconditional love is the best.

10. Listen to music

Music soothes the savage beast, right? It also stimulates the brain. Listen to music for the memories, the melodies, and the mood.

11. Watch TV/movies

Watching TV or a movie takes little to no physical energy. And it takes your mind off things for a while. Plus, it’s entertaining, escapist, informative, and engaging.

Pay attention to yourself and what you need. Give yourself a break and do something nice just for yourself. Practice your self-care. I hope my ideas will help you.

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.


  • WillDoe
    10 months ago

    To michelle.vincent:
    Good article!
    And between PJs and a sponge bath (we called it a ‘bird bath’ in the Army) I have my cat!
    She keeps me on schedule: food, water and litter box. After all of that, including a shave, I still have enough energy to get my pants and a shirt on!
    Tea and toast, and rest up for few hours! Whew!
    There is nothing like being on a schedule!

    All the best and thanks again!

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    10 months ago

    H WillDoe,
    You are so right, being on a schedule helps us to maintain our health and gets us through the day. It is very important to stay on schedule for medications and meals. Two of the most important things we can do for our health.
    Barbara (site moderator)

  • michelle.vincent moderator author
    10 months ago

    Hi Will,

    I’m so glad you liked my article. I’m also glad your cat keeps you on schedule. Cats are great about that; gotta love ’em.


  • Vittoria
    10 months ago

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was starting to feel totally hopeless. You have identified almost all of my “bumps” in my journey with COPD. I don’t get as depressed as before. However, fatigue is a real downer for me. Things I used to get done in a few hours now take a few days. I love reading as I can go anywhere without leaving my chair. I now have a portable oxygen concentrater that helps my breathing as I need it. I’ll keep trying to live my best life. I am woman and won’t be kept down!

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi Vittoria,
    You are amazing and it sounds like you will be able to handle this disease and all the bumps that come along with it. I believe your attitude will take you a long way. Thank you for your comments on COPD.Net
    Barbara (site moderator)

  • michelle.vincent moderator author
    10 months ago

    Hi Vittoria,

    You’re awesome. Isn’t reading the best thing ever? I usually have about 3 books going at the same time which is great since I’m in bed so much. And I’ve found so many new subjects to learn about; I think exercising my brain is just as important as exercising my body.

    Keep on living your best life!

  • Lyn Harper, RRT moderator
    10 months ago

    What a great attitude, Vittoria! I’m so glad you liked the article and could relate. The fatigue can be such a downer, but it sounds like you’ve found ways to cope. That’s great! There’s really nothing like a good book to take you places…

    Lyn (site moderator)

  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi Vittoria and thanks for your post. I will echo what Lyn has so eloquently said – keep up the good work! A positive can go a very long way towards managing this condition. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

  • nedra
    10 months ago

    All is good. It’s a new way of life and I am learning to embrace this time

  • Barbara Moore moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi nedra
    Learning and growing is so important.
    Best regards Barbara Moore (site moderator)

  • michelle.vincent moderator author
    10 months ago

    I’m glad to hear all is good with you. Take care of yourself.

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