Five Favorite Pandemic Self-Care Activities for CF

How have you de-stressed this past year? The pandemic, political divide, disruption of routine doctor's visits, and isolation from friends and family has really highlighted the care my mental health demands. As a stay-at-home-work-from-home-medically-fragile mom during this time, I have been close to pulling my hair out on multiple occasions just from pure exhaustion and frustration.

I need time to take care of myself and destress, but that’s difficult when your entire household is home 24/7. There have been a couple of self-care activities that have been super relaxing and mood-boosting during this difficult time.

5 CF-friendly self-care activities

Warm baths

Lately, I have been locking the bathroom door, throwing on an audiobook or Youtube, and soaking until pruney--which never takes very long with CF and aquagenic wrinkling. Baths have been my go-to escape from all the craziness around me. Plus, a warm bath always helps me feel better overall with CF.

Taking advantage of a national park

We are lucky that we live close to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio’s only national park, with loads of beautiful hiking trails and sites to see. We made a point as a family to spend a lot of time in the park hiking and exploring and checking out new spots we haven’t visited in a while. My husband and I grew up in the CVNP, but it’s even more exciting to see our son experience it. The exercise, fresh air, and outdoor family time have proved to be a definite de-stressor and benefit to my CF.

Beam exercise classes

In 2021, adults with CF were given free access to Beam’s on-demand and live exercise classes thanks to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Beam is great because it’s a way to exercise in groups or on your own time while being taught by professionals that have CF or experience with CF all in the safety and comfort of your own home. Beam has been a fun way to stay active safely with people who understand CF themselves. You can join Beam here, if you are interested.

Reading with Goodreads and book clubs

In a previous article, I reviewed a few CF focused books I recently finished. All of them were good books and recommended by me! Reading has been something to occupy my mind during this boring time inside. I track and add books on the app Goodreads and it’s been so satisfying to see my progress.

In addition, a few friends and I have started a virtual book club where we get together to discuss our thoughts and opinions about this month’s book. What’s better than books, friends, and Zoom calls to boost the mood?

Local ice cream tour

I don’t know about you, but ice cream screams self-care to me. In our family, we took it to the next level and started the search for the “Best Local Hot Fudge Sundae” with scorecards and everything. It was such a fun and yummy (and calorie-filled) activity over the course of the summer, that we decided to do it again but for Spring our search is for the “Best Local Lenten Fish Fry”.

Although this year has undoubtedly been challenging, there have been ways to sit back, relax and enjoy the unusual circumstances in order to make the best of the situation.

During the pandemic, what kinds of self-care activities have you been doing to keep your mental health and CF in check? Share in the comments below.

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