Maintaining a Healthy Mindset
Reducing stress, staying positive, getting more sleep. These are all aspects of maintaining a healthy mindset. Start yourself off on the right foot by trying some of the tips and tricks below.
Managing your day-to-day stress
Is keeping up with your appointments, school, work, family, and friends making your head spin? If so, consider some of these strategies to keep your stress in check.
Coping on the Spot:
- Take a deep breath: Deep breathing has been shown to reduce stress. Here’s an easy exercise you can try to help you relax anytime: Belly breathing
- Try to sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
- Keep one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath through the nose, and let your belly expand and make sure your chest doesn’t move.
- Exhale while whistling. Use the hand on your belly to push the air out.
- Repeat this breathing pattern 3 to 10 times.
A crowded subway, gridlock traffic, or the school hallway may not be ideal backdrops for a relaxation routine, but you can still do breathing exercises in these tight spots, which can help you reach a calm state of mind.
- Try some relaxing exercises: There are many stress-relieving relaxation techniques out there, like yoga and meditation. And not only can they help you manage stress—they can also help boost your immune system
- Check your posture: Standing upright is not only a sign of confidence, but it also makes people feel less antsy. This is because an upright posture decreases the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone
- Remember to smile: Smiling, even if you don’t feel like it, can actually boost your mood and relieve stress
- Take in a nature scene: It’s been proven that gazing at pictures of nature scenes following a stressful event can lead to a speedy recovery from the source of stress
- Keep calm and do what makes you happy: Try writing, drawing, or reading—anything that essentially gives you peace of mind and takes you away from what’s stressing you out
Upgrading Your Routine:
- Stay organized: Day planners come in different forms, from hard copies to phone apps. Try different ones to see which works best for you. You might find that once you establish a scheduling routine, you’ll feel more in control
- Talk, talk, talk: About cystic fibrosis (CF). Or not! Sharing your feelings with a friend or loved one can bring you closer together and may help create a stronger sense of community and belonging. Also remember that the support of your loved ones can give you that little extra boost to power through the day when you need it. Find out more about relationships and CF.
- Carve out parts of the day for yourself: Be sure to set aside a few moments to unwind and decompress. Some “me time” can do wonders on hectic days
Stay positive with these 3 steps:
- Check in with yourself: Are you having more difficulty breathing than usual? Don’t have an appetite? Whatever you’re experiencing, try jotting down the health concerns you might want to share with your healthcare team.
- Set a date: Set up an appointment with your healthcare team and be sure to be as specific as possible when explaining the reasons for your visit. Even something as simple as making an appointment can help you feel like you’re taking charge of your health.
- Focus on whatever brings you joy: Once you’ve got your appointment scheduled, try to organize a fun activity and remind yourself that you’re taking action.
The power of sleep
Most of us have witnessed firsthand how lack of sleep can affect our health (#cranky)! In fact, studies have shown that losing sleep is linked to lots of health conditions.
Here are a few ideas to help you sleep better at night, so you can own every part of your day. And remember, if you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your CF care team about all the ways you can get a better night's sleep.
- Try to wind down: Consider limiting your use of TV, laptops, phones, and tablets before bed. Also, try to leave enough time between doing your treatments and going to bed. This will help clear your mind so you can drift off more easily
- Put on a pair of warm socks: Warming up your cold feet lets your brain know it’s time to go to sleep. So the faster you take care of those cold feet, the sooner you can snooze