With winter, comes cold air and more viruses. It’s tiring and stressful, we get it. For some people with asthma, staying indoors and away from groups of people helps them manage their asthma during winter. When asked about the impacts of winter, people with asthma told us,

“The cold air makes it worse, I feel tired of being stuck inside.”

“It’s very difficult to explain to [people without asthma] and creates a boundary between me seeing friends and family in the cold seasons,”

But we know social interaction is an important protective factor to maintain overall mental health and wellbeing.[1]

How you feel about your health and your life also plays an important role in overall health and wellbeing. There are established links between mental health concerns and lifelong conditions, such as asthma – with approximately one-third of people with asthma also experiencing a mental health condition.[2]

So, it is important for many reasons to make sure you maintain your social links with family, friends, and your community.

There are many ways you can do this without risking flare-ups of your asthma.

Stay social, but at a distance

Australia is progressing with its COVID-19 vaccination program and continues to achieve great results on a global scale with its management of the virus.

But this winter it is still important to maintain a physical distance from others in the community to reduce the potential spread of this virus and others.

Last year Australians came up with great ways to keep in touch without touch.

People created fun ways to communicate online, including playing video games together with their friends and family, exercising, doing quizzes, or virtually sharing meals.

This could be a good way to stay connected with others if you are concerned about your asthma over winter.

Tips to improve your mental health with asthma

We know many people with asthma may experience a related impact on their relationships, stress levels, and ability to participate in physical or social activities.[3]

However, there are ways you can continue to strive for positive wellbeing. Staying in control of your asthma increases your chance of staying positive.

Beyond Blue advises talking and emotional support can help to reduce the stress of coping with a lifelong illness, such as asthma, but professional help may also be needed.[4]

“There is no one proven way that people recover from anxiety or depression and it’s different for everybody,” the mental health advocacy group says in its Chronic physical illness, anxiety and depression publication. [5]

“However, there is a range of effective treatments and health professionals who can help you on the road to recovery.

They suggest physical exercise for preventing and treating mild anxiety and depression, counselling by a trained health professional, or, in some circumstances, treatment with antidepressant medications.

There are many organisations you can contact for help. Our asthma information hotline, 1800ASTHMA (1800 278 462) connects you to Asthma Educators who can explain your condition.

Mental health organisations include:


References


PARTNERS

ENT, Bird Healthcare, AirPhysio and Sanofi are campaign partners of Asthma Australia and have not been involved in the development of this webpage.