Asthma UK community forum

Your personal pick-me-ups during asthma flare ups

Hi everyone,

I am just wondering what your pick me ups are when you have the asthma blues.

Winter is the worst time for me with my asthma but this summer I have been having quite a few bad days with my chest too. I don't know about everyone else but when I have been feeling particularly bad or have had an attack all I wanna do is lie in bed and not move as it leaves me without energy. Also I get very lethargic for days or even weeks after (does anybody else find this?? I can't be the only one) and it can really get to me as it affects my social life and of course my university friends have all of the energy in the world and can't really understand what I'm going through.

So what do you all do to cheer yourselves up when you are feeling similar? I usually just put a film on and have a cup of tea but past that I don't really know how I can cheer myself up when I have no energy!

8 Replies


I have really been suffering this summer too - I love the weather but ick, my asthma!

I don't know if it is a pick me up as such, but when I am struggling (and this is really random) my husband and I play cards. Nine times out of ten, it works in making me feel better. I think it is because I am distracted and I start to relax, which helps me and I don't even realise it is happening. We sometimes end up playing for hours (poor him!) but it has a 99% success rate!

On days when I feel really pants I lie on the sofa and watch girlie films with a cup of tea too.... although that is a general pick me up, and not asthma specific! Or I shop on ebay for clothes and things but give myself a £2 limit on all items. It's quite fun :) Minimal energy required for 'buy it now' things, and when you feel better you have new clothes to wear. Double result :)



pandaspud, that is great advice. Now I need to find someone to play cards with, hmm. I'm sure I can trouble my flat mates. Also the shopping, the ultimate cure (except for tea) :)


For me, one of the most depressing things during an asthma flare (aka my whole life atm) is that i end up cancelling sooo many things, due to either not being able to get around or being in hospital or whatever, so I have mates who make ""unbreakable"" plans. So we agree that no matter what we will meet up on a certain day at a certain time, i mean, im sure if one of us was actually dying we'd cancel but when we first said we'd do it we said we'd go sit in the morgue with the dead one if needs be (they were trying to cheer me up as i was having a bit of a sulk!)

We do things like saying ""movie night"" 2-4pm (hospital visiting hours - just in case) and if i were to be out they'd come to my house (make it easier on me) or the hosp, and we can watch a DVD on a laptop or TV, with popcorn. It s a silly little nothingness, but its a plan that will work even if im struggling, or in hosp then i have some definates! its a silly little thing but it helps!

I have a good old supply of films (and an account at lovefilm) so that i can watch a load of good stuff. I also find having a good game really helps, esp one that is portable on a laptop (i play sims 2 in hospital as well) as that involves little or no effort and again - its something that my body cant really stop me from doing, even in hosp, or too breathless to move, i can play on the computer!

Another thing i can highly reccomend (as a proper geek) is learning a pointless skill. So since my asthma has flared i can now do sign language (not pointless, but ive never needed it IRL), i can solve rubix cubes, i can count in binary on my fingers, do the cup song from pitch perfect, solve the chinese rings puzzle and towers of hannoy (not sure how its spelt), and i find that again, these are low exertion activities that can go anywhere with me and keep my brain ticking over while my lungs try to kill me! lol!

not sure they would work for everyone but they keep me sane :-) and i like the playing cards tips. there is a really good patience game called lucy's fan if you cant find anyone to play (let me know if you wanna try it and i can explain how it works - i prefer it to normal patience)

HTH xxx


Fab ideas there Soph, love the 'teach yourself new things' especially, I don't respond well to sofa surfing as I always feel I should be up doing something, so this'd be a great distraction for me!


Soph I know exactly what you mean about breaking plans! During a bad time if someone asks me to make plans in advance I feel reluctant and usually answer with ""I really wanna go but I will have to see how I am on the day. if I can, I will""

Luckily I have good friends too who will bring coffee to my house and just sit and chat with me.

The learn a new skill is great advice! I have so much time to spare I could learn anything! The cups song made me laugh! I would learn but I can't sing!


Similarly to Soph, I spend ALOT of time in hospital at the moment, or when I'm not in, trying to avoid going in!! LOL. Flares lead from one into the next.

I tend to try and do things which occupy my head, but that doesn't take too much brain power!! Downloading games on my iPad/phone is helpful when trying to avoid going in. It also keeps me sane when I am having the initial emergency treatment - but can't do much at the time - even if its just sticking my headphones in and listening to music/watching films - takes my head away from the there and then and beeping and noises and being messed with and sensory overload of resus!!

I also take books I've read before and that I know the story line of, so that when I find myself at the bottom of the page and realised I've not taken it in, its not frustrating!!

I cope with the wards and noises at night by listening to music all night (obv phone and headphones!), the nurses know me well and know that if I actually get any sleep (don't often in hosp) to give me a nudge to do obs etc.

I have a few good friends who really GET whats going off, so keep me sane if I get mardy and don't sulk when I tell them to F Off cos I'm really ill and in resus and cant cope at that point in time!

The nurses all know me now, both in HDU and on the Acute Respiratory wards and have a giggle with me, even a lot of the porters are familiar, so sometimes get visits from them :-)

When at home, much other than sofa surfing is not possible atm, so spend a lot of time cuddling my dogs, watching films, playing silly games and having friends over/going to see them - really lucky that I have a car cos it means I CAN go out!

I've been really ill today (NOT asthma for once) and also have a chest infection, so dodging hospital again, I've cheered myself up by looking through photos with my mum and buying new PJs for the inevitable admission - love shopping :-)

Its definitely the little things ...

Laura x


Hope you are better soon Laura. I hadn't thought of re-reading books. This is a good idea as when I don't feel too well I find myself flicking back to see who this person is and that person and before I know it I'm re-reading a whole chapter as I wasn't paying attention, very annoying. Are you the same as me, when you feel ill it comes with a sort of mind-fog that makes thinking things through a Whole lot harder? This is very frustrating for me as I am studying Mathematics, soon will be in my third year so a lot of it is new to me and it can be very time consuming trying to get things to go in. It just takes a lot of persistence and I try not to stress too much.

Your friends sound lovely. I find it can be hard to get people to understand, I don't think asthma gets enough press on just how serious it can be. When I mentioned a few months back to two friends of mine that I read a story about a girl having an attack in a pub from coming out of the cold air and passing away, they were shocked to find that asthma is life threatening, just thought everyone had attacks, felt bad, then got better. Before I had asthma (and not knowing many people with asthma) I have to be honest I thought people just took their blue inhaler and that was it!


I find reading helps, then again, I'm a bookworm so reading solves everything :P

I suppose what really helps is getting yourself to focus on something else. I sometimes wonder if it's possible to get stuck in a loop of struggling and dwelling on it, so struggling some more!


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