Coping with tiredness
Everyone feels tired sometimes, but usually you will feel better after resting. However many people living with a long-term chest condition can feel extreme tiredness (or fatigue) for a lot of the time. This can leave you with little energy for everyday tasks such as getting dressed or cooking a meal.
Why do I feel so tired?
There are many reasons you may feel more tired than normal if you have a long-term chest condition.
Physical reasons include:
- You may be having difficulty sleeping at night and this will make you more tired during the day.
- Physical changes may mean that you are learning to do things in a different way and this can be tiring mentally and physically.
- Damage to your lungs can mean that less oxygen gets into your blood.
Emotional reasons include:
- If you are feeling stressed, frustrated, angry or depressed, these emotions can make you feel extremely tired and cause sleep disturbances.
- Tiredness can be a side effect of some medicines. Discuss this with your doctor if you think your medicines are making you feel tired.
What can I do to help me feel less tired?
There are many things you can do to help restore your energy levels if you are feeling tired:
- Keep active
- Get good-quality sleep
- Cut out caffeine
- Eat regular meals and healthy snacks
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Lose weight (if you are overweight)
- Pace yourself
- Plan ahead
What can I do to conserve energy?
Things that can help you to save energy and feel less tired include:
- Try to do a little each day rather than a lot in one go.
- Sit down for as many activities as possible. For example, when you are preparing food or getting dressed.
- Spread housekeeping tasks across the week and ask for help if you need it from family or friends or be hiring a cleaner.
- Do your shopping online if you can or if you have to go shopping, go at less busy times.
- Try to avoid unnecessary walking or carrying around the home by having things you know you are going to need throughout the day nearby.
- Try to make sure you relax regularly. This might be by going for a walk or listening to music. Anything that helps you relax and reduces stress will help you feel less tired.