Managing 
Stress When
You Have CF

You may be used to focusing on your physical health, but recent research shows that emotional wellbeing has a greater impact than physical health on several aspects of health-related quality of life in cystic fibrosis (CF). What’s more, positive emotional wellbeing has been associated with better physical health and higher health-related quality of life in CF.

Mindset is everything when it comes to endurance events or even life in general, especially with CF.”

– Michael, athlete living with CF

Managing stress by practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to “focus awareness and attention to the present moment in a non-judgemental way”—in other words, taking stock of your current situation without placing blame on anything or anyone. Becoming more mindful can help prepare you for stressful times.

Amber Dawkins, a parent and athlete with CF, going for a walk with Pixel the cat.

Part of developing a mindfulness practice means making a habit of noticing how you’re feeling in the moment, which can increase self-compassion. And further developing your mindfulness skill set does not have to be a strict process: There are many brief exercises that can be used to help you come back to the moment and relieve stress. Watch this 5 senses exercise video and see if it works for you.

So like, life hits. Storms are gonna happen and the more armor you have, the better suited you are to handle those storms. You’re just gonna thrive in different areas of life and that absolutely 100% applies to work. ‘Cause when work gets tough—when you get your butt kicked, when you lose a deal—you need something to stand on.”

–John, tech worker living with CF

What are some other ways to reduce stress?

  • Journaling
  • Gratitude reflections
Focus on the good, positive things. Write down several things that you’re grateful for every day.”

–Courtney Trout, licensed clinical social worker

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Deep breathing
I think knowing when to, like, step back and take a breath and, like, really check in with yourself and see how you're feeling is really important.”

–Grace, college student living with CF

  • Exercise
Exercising is another thing that helps me cope with the ups and downs of being a caregiver…it has made a huge difference in helping me deal with anxiety.”

–Maggie, mother of child with CF

Dig Deeper into Emotional Wellbeing

Explore more tips on maintaining a healthy mindset


Read more of
Maggie’s story