Be Kind to Yourself

By Elyse Elconin Goldberg 61 years with CF

Many years ago, my Grandmother would say these words to me, “Be Kind to Yourself,” when I would feel overwhelmed with managing my Cystic Fibrosis (CF), family responsibilities and life. There was so much to do with not enough time to do it. Fast forward to our current situation with COVID-19. While health management and family responsibilities are still priorities, life has come to a complete standstill.

I feel eternally grateful that my CF has become easier to manage as I had a double lung transplant 6 ½ years ago. However, being immunosuppressed adds a whole new dimension to life. Social distancing is suddenly a new concept to the world, but for us with CF this really is not new. It is, and has always been, a part of our lives. We miss social engagements, work, trips etc. due to being sick or those who would be near us are sick and choose to go about their daily lives putting us at risk.

There is great uncertainty as to how long this situation might last. Can we turn this global health epidemic into something positive? I certainly am trying to! Living with chronic health issues makes us feel that time is a gift and that it should not be wasted.

My goal is to share ideas, in the hope that others will also chime in, for ways to “Be Kind to Yourself” during this challenging period of time.

Exercise

The beauty of exercise is its many benefits. Maintaining our pulmonary health is so important as we are inclined to be more sedentary right now. Exercise releases natural endorphins which are mood elevators. Walking, or if able hiking, is still a safe activity. Download a few of your favorite podcasts and off you go! We are fortunate to live in the age of technology and can watch exercise videos of yoga classes, Pilates, weight training, etc. (you can use household items as weights i.e. filled water bottles).

Music

I have tried to turn off all of the news and turned on music. Dance, sing and enjoy! Music can quickly change your mood.

Staying Virtually Connected

Check in with the family and friends. In our home, we are Face Timing with our children and grandchild. My friend group is texting to socialize, but also to offer to pick up any necessary items, as they are venturing to the craziness in the supermarkets. The goodness of humanity is coming out in amazing ways.

Cooking/Baking

While supplies are limited and potentially hard to come by, cooking and baking comfort foods at this time can be a very welcomed/relaxing activity. It is a great time to get creative with what is on hand.

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