When you have COPD, your energy and resources are somewhat limited – so it is helpful to figure out what changes you can make in your life so you can focus on doing things that matter! Here are some ideas on how to make adjustments so you aren’t wasting your time and energy on things that don’t matter, so you can still stay involved in activities you care about:

Decide which activities aren’t worth doing any longer.

This list looks different for everyone but it should consider your resources (including time and money) and your priorities (friends, family, work responsibilities, etc.). If you hate yard work and can afford to hire help, it’s a good idea – but if you love gardening, find ways to keep doing the parts of it that you really enjoy.

Do things more slowly and mindfully.

“Mindfulness” is described as “the art of living in the present moment.” Slowing down is good for your physical health if you have COPD, but most people also find that doing things more slowly is very satisfying. Give your activity your full focus. Take a break if you need to.

Organize your home to meet your needs.

Keep your medications in the same place. If you have oxygen, set up where your equipment will be kept in a way that is safe and so you don’t trip over cords. Ask for help moving things around in your home so you don’t have to go up and down stairs or travel often from one room to the next. Put items you need often in one place that’s easy to reach. Keep a pitcher of water, snacks and other items you may require next to your chair or your bed at night.

Simplify your daily routine.

Find very simple ways to cook, clean, and do other chores. Consider getting a small table or a cart with wheels to take things from one room to another. Use a pole or tongs with long handles to reach things.

Choose clothing that is loose and comfortable.

Wear shoes that are easy to put on and take off. Avoid fussy accessories, like scarves and large jewelry.