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Coronavirus and COVID-19

How can I cope with staying at home?

We're all staying at home a lot more than usual right now. Whether you're shielding, self-isolating or in lockdown, the following tips will help you cope with staying at home.

Ask friends and family to support you, and use online services

Have enough medication

Make sure you have enough of your medication, but don’t try to stockpile it. If you haven’t done so already, register with your GP practice for electronic repeat prescriptions and other online services.

Take your regular medications as prescribed

It’s important you take your regular inhaled medications as prescribed. There is some evidence that the better your lung condition is controlled, the less likely you are to get complications from viral infections.

It’s a good idea to make sure you are using your inhaled medication correctly. You need to get the best value from it and make every puff count. Check your inhaler technique – have a look at our inhaler technique videos.

If you have bronchiectasis, do your airway clearance exercises regularly – this clears mucus from your lungs and reduces your risk of having a flare-up (exacerbation) of your symptoms.

Stay in touch with friends and family and ask for help

Think about what you need, such as getting food and other essential supplies, and get it delivered by delivery services or family, friends and neighbours.

If you're self-isolating, you should only allow visitors if they provide essential care such as washing, dressing or preparing meals. If you receive support from health and social care organisations, this will continue as normal.

Look after your mental wellbeing by staying in touch with family, friends and neighbours by post, phone, online services and social media. Read more about the importance of talking to others and how to get started in our technology guide.


If you are caring for someone or have a carer, make a plan now for how you will manage if one of you becomes unwell.

How can I get in touch with my health care professional?

Your GP practice and hospital specialist have changed how they work and consult you. You can still speak to them, but not in face-to-face appointments, but by phone or video call. For example, for your annual review. Routine lung functioning testing and assessments for treatments such as oxygen therapy are postponed at this time.

How can I look after my mental wellbeing?

Staying at home can be frustrating and boring, and you may feel low or worried.

Try these simple things to stay mentally and physically active:

  • Look for ideas of exercises you can do at home. Try our exercise videos or the NHS website
  • Spend time doing things you enjoy. This could be reading, cooking or listening to the radio or watching TV
  • Try to eat healthily, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly and avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden.

For the most up to date information and guidance visit and the NHS.

What you can read next:

Last updated: Monday 6 July 2020


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Last medically reviewed: July 2021. Due for review: July 2021

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.