The effects of Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) differ for each person but feeling short of breath and fatigued is common. It is natural to find yourself becoming less active as a result. In the long run, this will lead to a loss of strength and general fitness, which can make it harder to complete everyday activities.
Here are some simple strategies to implement in your everyday routine to help you manage symptoms such as breathlessness and fatigue.
- Plan ahead. Allocate time and places to rest if you are going out. Allowing more time to do things will help avoid feelings of frustration.
- Prepare for tasks. Split big tasks into 3-4 smaller tasks, again allowing for breaks and the extra time it will take.
- Set achievable day-to-day goals. High expectations of yourself can lead to frustration which may amplify the symptoms you’re trying to manage.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up. Let your friends and family know they may need walk to more slowly when they’re with you and that some activities may be more challenging depending on how you’re feeling.
- Listen to your body. It’s really important to rest when your body is telling you to. Be flexible and keep more arduous tasks for days when you’re feeling more energised.
Fatigue can have an emotional impact and can also affect your concentration and memory. There may be times when you feel good, and others when fatigue leaves you feeling flat and low. Remind yourself this is not unusual but seek professional help if need. Maintaining strong social connections and talking to your loved ones, peers and your healthcare team openly is important.
This information comes from our Life With Pulmonary Fibrosis booklet which includes information about monitoring, treating and managing PF – download your free copy via the link below. Lung Foundation Australia offers a range of resources and programs to help you look after both your physical and emotional wellbeing when living with PF. Explore our website or contact our Information and Support Centre via free call 1800 654 301.