When we want someone to be healthy, our first instinct is to tell them to take care of themselves. And even though health and wellness are a little more complicated for chronic conditions like asthma, the same principle applies. Being healthy with asthma isn’t just responding to attacks. Our self-care tips for home asthma care will help you take care of yourself the other 23 hours and 55 minutes of the day.
If you think about common asthma triggers—dust, mold, pollen, pet dander—you can reduce or eliminate most of them simply by cleaning the house or changing your air filters. As an asthma sufferer, keeping your space clean by vacuuming, dusting, and washing bedsheets and comforters should be a priority. Not to mention, a clean space is naturally more relaxing.
Of course, cleaning does become an issue when chemical fumes and fragrant sprays also trigger symptoms, so keep these ideas in mind when cleaning with asthma:
- Most cleaners are full of irritating chemicals, especially disinfectants. Opt for cleaners marked as eco-friendly, or use natural alternatives like baking soda or vinegar.
- Even with natural cleaners, sprays can still irritate your passageways. Instead, put the liquid directly onto a rag to wipe things down.
- Go fragrance-free as much as possible when choosing cleaners.
- Make sure you ventilate the area both during and after cleaning.
You Are What You Eat
Since the health world has long considered asthma and obesity kissing cousins, eating healthier may already be part of your at-home asthma self-care regimen. But nutritious eating may improve symptoms even if you don’t struggle with weight. Research has shown that red meats, refined grains, and sweets—the first things on most dietary chopping blocks—can increase inflammation and exacerbate asthma.
But a good diet doesn’t just take the bad stuff out (Unless that diet is intermittent fasting, in which case that’s the whole point). It also adds good things back in. Some foods may specifically improve asthma symptoms, such as:
- Almonds, hazelnuts, and raw seeds
- Salmon and other fish
- Foods rich in magnesium and vitamins A, C, and E
Remember: eating healthy doesn’t mean overeating one healthy food. Variety is the spice of life and will keep your immune system strong.
Take a Breather
Often, we focus on the physical symptoms of asthma. But a mind plagued with anxiety and stress will often exhibit itself with physical symptoms. Anxiety already compels you to take shallow breaths. Then it adds insult to injury by causing your muscles to tense, making it harder to take a breath.
It may seem small, but taking time to step back and do something relaxing may do wonders for your asthma and mental health. For instance, most people already associate getting a massage with relaxation, but it may help relieve respiratory issues as well. Take the time to take care of yourself. Your mind and your lungs will thank you.